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a revolutionary progress or a domination move next on the agenda?

Author: Sezgin Bayrak

The familiar metaphor of the network diagrams is about to be brought into being. It seems that our information systems’ climate will evolve to another phrase of computing modus pretty soon. Considering that there has been no technological breakthrough on earth which has just brought convenience to mankind without any ensuing consequences and additional costs, possible industrial and socio-economic effects of cloud computing are already being discussed among the people who are used to weighing up things before snatching at an offer. Therefore, cloud computing is a common topic these days.

In the late 90s’, even among ICT professionals, only a few people was truly aware of the shape that the internet technologies would take at the end of the next decade. Internet service providers had become the fortresses of this neo-consciousness, enthusiastic engineer teams were vigorously trying to expand the connection facilities to the masses. Ingenious ideas regarding the next generation service options were being discussed behind the doors. Rest was busy with experiencing the casual communication opportunities provided by this mind-blowing technology of the new age.

Does anyone remember a guy talking about a virtualized centralization theory in that mass hysteria and muttering wisely “This is all a process of transition anyway…“? To be honest, the only clairvoyance  which I was a witness of, was the colleagues purchasing domain names that would be worth money someday.

Today, once again the question is; “What will happen in the next decade?”
Cloud ComputingLike we couldn’t have answered this question in the proper sense years ago, we can’t expect consistent replies other than couple of predictions. We never know it because we didn’t plan it. Nothing in the business arena, especially the global ones such as cloud computing ever happens unstudied. They are foreseen, well engineered and carefully designed in the earlier phases by the tech giants steering the global market. But the only thing that we may sense is the acceleration in the changes. Remember that the bunch of players appeared on the scene and created great economies over new phenomenons such as social media which now effects the course of world stock indexes.

I do remember that every member of this sector was believing that his/her career pathway would be blooming within the flourishing IT industry. That perspective had also had many fans from the remaining segments of the population which had been also fascinated by the promising technology, therefore it had fomented the inter-sectoral employment shifts that were particularly encouraged by the increasing certification programs geared to vendor specific products and solutions. However, the boom is over and yesterday’s enthusiasm leaves its place to reproachful tones more and more. Although they will likely be the first to be diminished, advocacy of the existing course and the optimistic approaches will be popular for some more time among the devoted technical guys. Actually, these guys have been too busy with the integration and administration tasks that they may have missed the web based computing upswing and most probably they believed that the next generation service options would always acquire a shape in their hands. From the optimistic viewpoint, mostly based upon the surveys and economic data, despite the demand for permanent IT and telecommunications staff start to fall as a result of global crisis and the unemployment among information technology managers and staff members jumped to 5.5 percent in 2009, IT professionals are still paid better and they seem more likely to be employed than the workers in other sectors. But, today’s economy is exceedingly dependent on ICT processes than earlier in the decade, meaning employers must still retain a higher number of tech professionals. In fact this dependence is very fragile and it will break down quickly tomorrow, when the prevailing wind shifts and the key bindings are begun to be reduced initially through the hybrid cloud computing model. This stage may exactly be an incubation period when the lost jobs are recovered in other companies which aren’t able to organize the process of transition or embrace the new idea yet. When the cloud services eventually extend their reach into small enterprises, traditional IT department will completely pass away.

In accordance with the business management principles, the profit motive of the business cannot oppose the huge cost savings purported by cloud computing vendors. Whether hyped or not, prospective cloud savings on capital and operational expenditures can be regarded as convincing rationales by an organization which is not used to making the necessary assessments before considering the investment on something that is only supposed true. Because the main issue here is that the claimed savings are mostly taken out of the limited case studies for now which are then referenced to make inferences for several other cases.

As always happened before, making non-skeptical short-term decisions may influence the business indirectly in long terms and it leads into economical instability and sociological collapse rather than keeping things ticking.

When the corporations start to switch to “everything as-a-Service”  (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) models of cloud computing, vendors will sell less hardware and software. Thus, yesterday’s revenue leaders in respective markets have to participate in the cloud competition and they have to reorient their strategies to meet the challenges in “service based” arena in order to compensate the lost revenue. They have to revise their resources and consolidate their infrastructure facilities. Reorientation involves investments and investments involve financial leverage. As the wage expenses are one of the primary cost factors, once again layoffs and job reductions will be at the top of the list to finance these mandatory investments. Somewhat, the savings that the cloud customers will make will be ensured by the massive layoffs at the potential cloud entrepreneur side. Similarly, layoffs at the customer side will feed the services business at the cloud side.

Once the spark is there, it will trigger such a loop that will not break until the entirely new sectors are enabled by cloud computing and the reinvestments into different areas are made by the corporations using their IT savings. Anyway, it is a cold comfort to expect the revival in favorable effects hoped in other business areas while blowing up the main ship. In any case, there are not enough rescue shuttles for the technicians of this ship.

Consequently, we may come to a tentative conclusion that most of ICT professionals, especially the infrastructure technicians and low-levels were just serving to make the community get used to the internet fact and were actually maintaining the transition of the cloud idea in terms of forging all dynamics of the computing, networking and the internet marketplace for years. Quite evidently, as yesterday’s redundant tech skills will become memories more and more, IT professionals who still wish to derive an income from this sector may have to climb up to the top layer of the OSI model and quickly adapt themselves to make use of the internet platform rather than engineering it.


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