1. Clouds ahead: What an IT career will look like five years out

    IT pros who don't take the time to lift their heads and assess the likely IT landscape five years out may be asking for career trouble. Because one fact is clear: Organizations of all stripes are increasingly moving IT infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, most IT pros who've pulled all- nighters, swapping in hard drives or upgrading systems while co-workers slept, probably won't recognize their offices' IT architecture - or the lack thereof - in five years.

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    1. Ten years ago, IT staff were physically plugging special storage cables into special switches.
    2. IT managers will need good network engineers, help desk staff, security managers, and business analysts.
    3. IT managers will have to support applications, not equipment.
    4. The IT department won't need to be onsite monitoring and recovering devices and systems to ensure they're ready for use.
    5. They'll look like today's devops and full-stack engineer roles.
    6. Many project managers continue to focus on battling tech debt because of old technology, bad technology decisions, and one-off technology patches that continue to drive complexity and reduce speed.
    7. I will say that I think the number of implementation and ops-focused roles will decrease, and those IT staff will have to switch to a strategic mind-set.
    8. The IT department isn't going away, and the role of the CIO isn't going to be marginalized. But as more workloads shift to the cloud, the construction of the IT department, by necessity, must change away from traditional roles to those more focused on vendor, business, security, and service management.
    9. Like 10 years ago, where we had vertical specialties around things like phone systems, we will now employ vertical experts who are 100 percent dedicated to how to make things work in cloud IT environments such as AWS and Azure.
    10. The more complex and interconnected these cloud environments become, the higher amount of a general understanding and knowledge of how it all works together will be required from IT teams.
    11. For a long time, a lot of what went into making the business successful was the meat-and-potatoes tasks like racking and stacking.
    12. As these projects will span across both on-prem and cloud resources.
    13. IT managers will help mine the vast troves of unstructured data that organizations have … resulting in increased collaboration with other departments.
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