Yesterday I recorded an OTN ArchBeat podcast with Oracle ACE Directors Ron Batra, Basheer Khan, and Cary Millsap. The conversation, based on a topic suggested by Ron, focused on the shifting responsibilities among IT roles in the face of the emergence of DevOps and Cloud computing.
At one point in the conversation Nicholas Carr's infamous 2003 Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter" came up. That article claimed that IT was becoming ever more commodified, a claim that has proven to be true, given the rise of cloud computing.
So it was somewhat serendipitous that a blog post by Irving Wladawsky-Berger showed up in Feedly this morning. That post referenced a recent CIO Magazine interview with Carr, conducted on the tenth anniversary of his original article. In that interview Carr is asked about the skills that are most important as companies make the transition to the cloud. Carr responds:
I do think that IT ultimately is going to be a smaller department in terms of headcount, but the successful IT departments and IT managers will play a more strategic and kind of consultative role—thinking about marketing implications of apps and social media and things like that. I think the emphasis is still going to be on being the bridge between technological possibilities and business goals, and less about optimizing the technology itself. That's a trend that has been going on for some time now and I think will continue.
Bottom line: Your tech skills must evolve in lock-step with the evolution of IT, but tech skills alone are unlikely to carry you into the future.
You'll hear more about that in my conversation with Ron, Basheer, and Cary. That program will be available soon.