The cloud has been rapidly reshaping and redefining IT as we know it, from the language we use to describe it to the management models and infrastructure itself. Providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure have transformed cloud computing, giving businesses access to IT resources anytime, anywhere. At the same time, this rapid migration off-premises has been reshaping the needs and roles in the IT department.
The Cloud and IT
The following are four ways that the cloud is redefining IT roles and operations:
Sysadmin vs. DevOps
When you compare sysadmin vs. DevOps, you’ll find that they’re similar roles, but also distinct. A system administrator, or sysadmin, is the person responsible for configuring, operating and maintaining computer systems, servers in particular. This jack-of-all-trades IT role handles everything from installations and upgrades to security, troubleshooting, technical support and more.
And then we have the evolution of DevOps, which could very well be the biggest game-changer to the IT process. Under the DevOps umbrella, a team of software developers, IT operations and product management people must combine strengths to effectively streamline and stabilize operations for rolling out new apps and updating code to support and improve the whole business.
With the cloud taking over and without the need for physical, on-prem servers, a large portion of the sysadmin role has become lost to automation. As this change was occurring, sysadmins remained effective as their role shifted toward the support of developers, combining efforts and thus giving birth to the term DevOps. So, can you truly compare sysadmin vs. DevOps? Well, the roles are similar in the sense that sysadmins can do a lot of what DevOps guys do, but not the other way around, making DevOps the newer, bigger jack of all trades.
IT Operations Management vs. Cloud Operations Management
IT Operations Management is responsible for the efficiency and performance of IT processes, which can include anything from administrative processes to hardware and software support, and for both internal and external clients. IT management sets the standard policies and procedures for how service and support is carried out and how issues are resolved.
Thanks to the cloud, IT management has also given way to automation and outsourcing. Cloud operational processes are now a more efficient way of using resources, providing services and meeting compliance requirements. In the same way IT operations and projects (ITOP) manages IT processes, cloud operations management is doing so in a cloud environment with resource capacity planning and analytics that provide vital intelligence into how to control resources and run them cost-effectively.
IT Service Management vs. Cloud Service Management
Traditional IT service management (ITSM) dealt with strategizing in the design, delivery, management and innovation of the way an organization is using IT. This involved developing, implementing, and monitoring IT governance and management using frameworks such as COBIT, Microsoft Operations Framework, Six Sigma and ITIL, for example.
As the cloud became a better option for operational management, companies have turned to it to transform their business model via service providers including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure to outsource IT for more efficient, scalable services.
Since cloud computing resources are hosted as off-site VMs and managed externally, ITSM has grown more complex, introducing cloud service management (CSM) as an extension of ITSM, pushing in three core areas: automated service provisioning, DevOps and asset management. And as ITSM shifts toward CSM, the concerns lie in the adoption strategy and the approach for designing, deploying and running of cloud services.
Finance and Operations vs. DevFinOps
In a world where IT projects are known to exceed budgets and coming up with cost estimates is no easy feat, how can businesses break down a reasonable overall estimate for projects in which applications are developed, built and run on a utility? The answer is to make estimates little by little as parts of the work get completed, integrating financial planning directly into IT development operations. In other words: DevFinOps.
IT asset management (ITAM) merges the financial, contractual and inventory components of an IT project to support lifecycle management and strategic decision-making. The strategy involves both software and hardware inventory and the decision-making process for purchases and redistribution. DevFinOps expands and builds upon ITAM by fixing financial cost and value of IT assets directly into IT infrastructure, updating calculations in real time and simplifying the budgeting process.
What This Means For You
Cellphones, self-driving cars, DevOps … cloud computing is yet another evolution in technology—albeit a huge one—and IT is simply going through a metamorphosis. The best way of looking it at is that cloud is not killing IT, it’s redefining IT. Enterprises are following suit as they make the shift and change or update traditional IT roles. As IT evolves, the cloud is paving the way for opportunities for those who adapt and evolve their roles with it.