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6/29/2010
12:51 PM
John Soat
John Soat
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The Effect of Cloud Computing On IT Staff

According to a new survey, there are significant discrepancies between what IT management thinks of cloud computing and the opinion of IT staffers. Is it because staffers view the cloud as a threat, and are they correct to do so?

According to a new survey, there are significant discrepancies between what IT management thinks of cloud computing and the opinion of IT staffers. Is it because staffers view the cloud as a threat, and are they correct to do so?

InformationWeek Analytics published a new survey-based report about cloud computing and there are some very interesting findings. One of the most interesting things InformationWeek did with this survey is to segregate answers according to different IT professional levels: strategic IT managers, tactical IT managers, and IT staffers. And, as Art Wittmann, director of InformationWeek Analytics, points out in a recent column, the answers are informative in their disparity.

For example, 40% of upper-level managers say their organizations are currently using cloud services or will within the next 24 months, while only 30% of middle managers agree with that, and just 20% of staffers. However, when the statement is reversed -- my organization has "no plans to evaluate cloud services" -- so are the results: Only 12% of upper managers agree with that statement, while 22% of middle managers do, and 39% of IT staffers.

So, for staffers, is it wish fulfillment and a bit of whistling past the graveyard? Or is there a significant discrepancy between what management considers cloud computing and what staffers think it is? Also, does that discrepancy extend to strategic imperatives? In other words, what is it that management really wants to get out of cloud computing?

Ironically, as far as cloud computing being a means for cutting back on IT staff, the survey results don't support that theory. Two-thirds of respondents say they've seen no change in IT staffing levels as a result of adoption of cloud services.

If nothing else, these results speak to the need for IT management to share their cloud computing plans with IT staff to allay their trepidations which may affect working conditions and team spirit.According to a new survey, there are significant discrepancies between what IT management thinks of cloud computing and the opinion of IT staffers. Is it because staffers view the cloud as a threat, and are they correct to do so?

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