The world of IT Infrastructure is fluid, and as such, is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of the businesses and industries it serves. A recent shift has been made toward developing technology and processes that not only streamlines the operational tasks of a business, but also focuses on service and support as a top priority. Gone are the days when all IT was responsible for was handling the back-end processing tasks.
The future of IT infrastructure and operations is about the big picture – managing processes from start to finish and delivering real solutions to the end-user. As a result, a number of new roles have emerged and are beginning to take shape, slowly replacing the tech-heavy positions of the past with more robust and balanced skillsets. Here are a few of these new roles that we can expect to see as the coming years unfold.
Designers and Assemblers
As we move toward a more well-rounded approach to IT, it is becoming more and more evident that to be successful, infrastructures will need to carefully develop robust portfolios of services that combine a variety of options from multiple sources – internally, externally and cloud-based. Expert designers and assemblers will be needed to develop these portfolios and ensure that the services within come together seamlessly and deliver results in the most efficient way possible.
Just as the very foundation of IT operations is evolving, so are the responsibilities of those who handle the day to day duties of the field. Architects are no exception. Presently, architects are spending an exorbitant amount of time and resources on menial operational responsibilities, such as system support functions and project execution. As IT Process Automation (ITPA) becomes more commonplace, many of these elementary duties will be eliminated, creating an opportunity for architects to apply their skills to more important strategic responsibilities, such as monitoring service vendors to ensure that what they are delivering is in line with the overall direction of the organization. Additionally, we will see architects taking on more responsibilities as they are freed up by technological advancements.
Process Design Experts
Because the future of IT infrastructure and operations involves a more robust and comprehensive business approach, the very design of internal processes will need to be modified and enhanced to accommodate these changes. Process design experts will be needed to analyze and polish internal processes, such as how change management is handled with new cloud-based applications. As IT operations evolve, so must the processes by which tasks are accomplished in order to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly and efficiently.
The more businesses begin to rely on external services as part of their robust IT portfolio, the more critical it becomes to monitor these outside vendors to prevent costly mistakes. Today’s operations view vendor management as a smaller function, but as we shift toward more abstracted services, the role becomes increasingly larger and more significant. Vendor managers will be required to closely monitor external services, well beyond the specifics of their contracts, to ensure stability and reduce liability to the organization.
With an ever-increasing list of infrastructure options, particularly those that can be customized and deployed rapidly, businesses must carefully consider the liability and complexity involved with integrating such a service with their existing systems. Planners will be needed to strategically analyze and tactically measure these services against their present processes, specifically narrowing down the choices to only those services that are in line with the direction of the organization and can be safely and seamlessly integrated with their existing infrastructure.
As we steamroll forward into the promising future of IT operations, it is becoming increasingly evident that the required technical skills of the past are changing. No longer will businesses be able to rely on traditional IT professionals, each with their own fragmented skillset. Instead, they will need to shift their focus toward IT Process Automation Engineers who will be prepared to take on the new roles listed here and better position the business for future success.