Make no mistake, the cloud is a disruptive force in IT. Like the PC, which introduced the consumerization of IT, and the Internet, which networked the global village, the cloud represents a radical restructuring of how IT services are created and deployed. And with anything truly radical, there is a certain amount of pain that comes with the gain.

John Soat, Contributor

June 2, 2010

2 Min Read

Make no mistake, the cloud is a disruptive force in IT. Like the PC, which introduced the consumerization of IT, and the Internet, which networked the global village, the cloud represents a radical restructuring of how IT services are created and deployed. And with anything truly radical, there is always a certain amount of pain that comes with the gain.

DISRUPT. verb, transitive. 1a: to break apart, rupture; b: to throw into disorder. 2: to interrupt the normal course or unity of.

The disruptive nature of cloud computing was made apparent earlier this week when Hewlett-Packard announced that it is accelerating automation of its data centers and as a result laying off 9,000 employees in its services division and taking $1 billion in charges. "We think the next five to 10 years is all going to be about who can best use technology to automate the delivery of services," said HP executive VP Ann Livermore during a conference call.

Translation: cloud computing.

And it isn't just vendors or service providers who will make wrenching changes in IT provisioning as a result of this radical restructuring. " 'Let go' are hard words," one CIO told me when I asked about IT layoffs connected with his move to the cloud. "Let's just say, there's been significant attrition." Still, the CIO said the downsizing of IT had an upside because the remaining tech experts are able to work more closely and effectively with the business side on the actual implementation of the technology. "We've dramatically shrunk the size of IT to help the business with things that are hard for business," he said.

The ultimate convergence of IT expertise and business process has been forecasted for many years. Cloud computing is a big step along that evolutionary path, but it won't happen without a certain amount of pain to offset the gain.

InformationWeek is conducting a survey to determine the effect of cloud computing on IT hiring plans. The survey, called "Will Cloud Decimate IT Ranks?," is available on the InformationWeek site if you want to participate.Make no mistake, the cloud is a disruptive force in IT. Like the PC, which introduced the consumerization of IT, and the Internet, which networked the global village, the cloud represents a radical restructuring of how IT services are created and deployed. And with anything truly radical, there is a certain amount of pain that comes with the gain.

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