Virtualization and cloud computing hiring outlook for 2011

By Kevin Fogarty, CIO |  Virtualization

One reason virtualization and cloud computing are among the hottest-selling technologies and skills most sought on is due to the way IT groups are organized, not the skills they need, according to Mark Bowker, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Virtualization migrations typically start with the server team and can run for quite a while focused just on consolidation and IT-driven workloads," says Bowker, interpreting data from an ESG survey of 463 companies that was released in November. "Most companies are at that point, where they've finished the first 20% or 30% of a virtualization migration, gotten the low-hanging fruit, and now have to move outside IT where the technology is not the barrier to success."

Virtualizing servers and applications that belong to business units - ERP applications, collaboration software, for example, rather than firewalls, load balancers and other IT-focused apps - the IT people doing the migrations need more than just virtualization skills. They need security, application development, business-process management, and soft skills like user management, Bowker says.

Even straight IT-owned workloads in virtualized or cloud environments involve so many skillsets that it's not practical to hire someone with just virtualization skills, Kiblin says.

"Our guys have to be skilled in so many areas - OS, hypervisor, storage, routing, backups - you can't find them," he says. "In three to five years other people [companies other than service providers] will realize their people have to cross-trained to be an asset to an organization, not just be a member of the routing team or a load-balancing team or a SAN team, or whatever."

The services industry is particularly strong in IT hiring right now, especially in business consulting, legal services, outsourcing and management consulting, Reed says. Also at the top of the list of hot industries are financial-services and healthcare companies -- both of which are IT-heavy and undergoing lots of overhaul.

The services industry is hot because, in the absence of a lot of IT hiring for the past two years or so, they've been filling in the gaps, he says.

As hiring in general increases, as surveys from check processor ADP and the Federal Reserve's report on private-sector hiring both predict - much of that work may shift back to full-time employees, he says.

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Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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