Cloud computing is affecting the role of IT professionals who typically manage a business’s technological infrastructure, and depending on who you ask the cloud is either an exciting new development or a serious challenge to job security.
In Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Report, we explore how cloud services have enabled companies large and small to make massive budget cuts and gain efficiency by forgoing expensive equipment and annually-licensed software. “Parallels SMB Cloud Insights research continues to confirm that SMBs are at the forefront of cloud adoption,” says Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels. “This research is part of our commitment to service providers to give them both the expertise and technology they need to address the quickly-growing market for SMB cloud services.”
The rise in cloud services marks a shift in IT responsibilities and Parallels is leading that charge by offering targeted services to for hosters to deliver to SMBs that are either converting to the cloud, switching to the cloud, or expanding the cloud services they already have in place.
In addition to serving SMBs with dedicated IT professionals on staff, Parallels research also identifies the cloud delivery opportunities to serve SMBs with no IT staff as well as SMBs that hire outside IT consultants.
Parallels research shows that 45% of SMBs in the U.S. have no IT staff, leaving “do-it-yourself” owners or senior members of the company to handle purchasing decisions, installation, and maintenance of all IT solutions. For the SMBs that hire outside IT consultants (which 18% of micro SMBs do), Parallels allows the consultants (usually hosting resellers) to offer cloud services to the SMB end customer without having to manage the infrastructure themselves. In both cases, cloud services benefit business and the bottom line.
With cloud services in place, IT professionals can focus on what they are often highly undervalued for in business: strategy and innovation. A successful career in IT may mean having a cloud-focused skillset and being able to think strategically on a big-picture level.
In the move toward IT as a service, IT professionals will be measured less by how many fires they put out on any given day and more by the value and efficiency they add to internal and client-facing business processes. “Instead of managing infrastructure, tending the help desk, and commissioning server instances to be created,” Brandon Butler of Network World writes, “IT workers of tomorrow are more likely to be managing vendor relationships, working across departments and helping clients and workers integrate into the cloud.”
Learn more about this transition in any of our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Reports, and stay tuned for a 5-part blog series exploring areas such as hosted infrastructure, web presence, hosted communication and collaboration, business applications, and more.