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Cloud To Create 14 Million Jobs? Not So Much 264

jfruh writes "Did you hear about the study from Microsoft and IDC (PDF), declaring that adoption of cloud technologies would create 14 million jobs? Well, don't believe the hype. The study posts that, once small and medium business can use cloud products to just eliminate their IT department, they'll use those savings to hire people for their core business. It's a dubious proposition, and one that wouldn't be good news for IT workers even if things do play out that way."
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Cloud To Create 14 Million Jobs? Not So Much

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  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:37PM (#39253987) Homepage Journal

    The revolution of automotive transport put a lot of horse dung collectors out of work too. Society should advance. Period. That that means some jobs are erased is a good thing. Whenever jobs are erased, it represents a freeing of human minds to focus on even more productive tasks.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:38PM (#39254009)

      Like pumping gas, for example...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Americano ( 920576 )

        In fairness, pumping gas *is* moderately more pleasant than shoveling horse manure.

        • by tqk ( 413719 ) <> on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:21PM (#39254577)

          In fairness, pumping gas *is* moderately more pleasant than shoveling horse manure.

          No it's not. Pumping gas involves cars, fumes, customers, gas pumps, managers, bad hours, scraping windshields, and weather (possibly even snow shovelling). Scooping manure is considerably simpler. Some people even prefer the aroma of manure to that of petroleum distillates (count me in there).

          On the other hand, fresh cow pies are disgusting.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        I'm not sure if this is the point you were trying to make, but in my lifetime, there were jobs pumping gas. They went away, and now we all just have to pump our own gas.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jdastrup ( 1075795 )
      Except the "cloud" is not new technology. It's just a fancy marketing word for outsourcing. Skilled IT workers will move from in-house employees to working for the cloud providers. No new jobs at all, possibly even less, if the economy of scale is factored in.
      • The "cloud" has always been about having fewer IT staff, period. Anywhere in the world. It's not, in this case, about firing people but about doing more with less. This is probably progress.

        The fact that what staff does exist would likely be in a low cost region is an entirely different process, which happens to be the work of pure Evil, or Wall Street, but I'm being redundant.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It only takes being burned a few times for most companies to realize that outsourcing is a bad idea. When the system is down, you are losing money, staff can't work, your customers are screaming at you... that is when you want some hapless it staff close by.

        Close enough to stand behing them screaming until they fix it. Phoning it in just isn't the same.

      • by tqk ( 413719 )

        Except the "cloud" is not new technology. It's just a fancy marketing word for outsourcing.

        No, that's just the latest implementation. Go back further. Think glass walled rooms, mainframes, priests in white lab coats, ...

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          How is having a room full of mainframes even similar to having datacenters full of cheap machines all being shared by different companies around the world, all communicating over thousands of miles to millions of customers? Now people don't need their own mainframes, and can dynamically scale up or down the number of computers they use, all for cents. Yes, you have a box connected with wires to a larger box you don't see, but that's about as far as the similarity goes and to pretend any differently is bei
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:49PM (#39254193)

      Yeah, I saw a bunch of freed people in front of the unemployment office just the other day. Thought about stopping to tell them how lucky they are, but they looked kind of angry.

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:51PM (#39254223)

      The revolution of automotive transport put a lot of horse dung collectors out of work too. Society should advance. Period. That that means some jobs are erased is a good thing.

      I don't know if anyone (except RIAA) is arguing against that. But I am sick and tired of them claiming that this is done to improve economy and that they are gonna save lots of money and hire lots of people. That part is bullshit -- they are going to sit on the money and maybe hand out small dividents. If they needed "core" hires, they would have already made these hires. Few companies are making hiring decisions based on whether they currently have any cash available.

    • by MattBD ( 1157291 )
      Agreed in principle, but that's not how it tends to pan out in practice. It does seem like there's going to be less and less jobs available in the future, but what are we doing? Harangueing the unemployed ever harder to get jobs. Years ago futurists were predicting that increasing automation would mean workers would be working less hours, and some were even predicting the possibility of a basic minimum income that people could choose to supplement by working. What actually happened is companies just had f
    • by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:12PM (#39254463)

      That is only true if society is allowed to adjust to the new conditions.

      Yes, being more efficient means, we should be able to use that human capital to engage in new industries or reduce the work in current industries.

      For example, lets say the cloud is amazing and we end up with huge numbers of unemployed IT workers. Theoretically, we should be able to take these workers and do one of two things

      1. We reduce the work load in existing jobs. So for example, we end up with more teachers, lawyers, nurses, accountants... and the workload in those industries drops. We might end up with people working only 20 hours a week in such cases as the current jobs are redistributed. Wonderful stuff. That is how we've been able to achieve more leisure time.

      2. The new labor is allocated to new fields. So maybe these unemployed IT workers become solar panel designers or something.

      Things are always the same... until they're different
      I believe 2 is much less likely to be a driver of mass jobs. While we will most certainly have more inventions and new fields, they will likely not be mass employers. Most likely, they will employ a few highly skilled designers. Anything else will be highly automated. I don't for example think the green revolution will generate the kinds of jobs we used to see in the old industrial age.

      So we're left with 1. The problem is our society will not let this happen. For one, everyone is scared of deflation... and well... reduced work hours might very well mean less money in each person's pocket... so deflation. Special interests also hate egalitarianism. How would lawyers or doctors or public sector workers feel, if they earned no more than the average person? They are used to earning more than the average person. So they are unlikely to want to give up their position of privilege.

      So while theoretically, society is always better off via efficiency, I wouldn't be so quick to simply dismiss concerns.

      We do not live in any kind of a free market where such things can self-adjust.

      More than likely, we'll see the special interests continue to try and hold onto their positions of privilege and refuse to redistribute the workload to their fellow citizens. This results in mass unemployment while the special interests cling to power. They also won't accept levels of taxation that would allow the government to redistribute work to everyone.

      Hey, isn't this happening in Europe as we speak?
      Not to mention the huge unemployment in the US.

      It's great to talk about the benefits of the free market. But you should realize we don't live in one... and the results can be catastrophic if you simply apply free market ideas to systems which have little to do with a free market.

      While you dismiss everything and say society should advance... I certainly don't see it as a positive thing if society starts having mass unemployment or plunging into mass deficits collapsing economies and social unrest.

    • First of all, I don't know if I'd use the word "advance" -- I'm not entirely sure society has "advanced", as in improved. We seem to trade one indignity for another.

      Second of all, while I'd agree that many of these changes are as a whole for the good of the broader economy, the process by which they occur is really harsh for the people involved.

      It's a bit like saying that famine is good for poor countries, since they're killing off the excess people they can't feed. Sure, in the long run they've got fewer

    • We really don't need another web browser, or another word processor, email client. The various niches have mostly been filled. What we're seeing with "clouds" are just an attempt to optimise costs. A cloud is just a mainframe people, built on TCP/IP instead of 3270 protocols.

      So until architectures make a radical change we can expect IT & development jobs to become obsolete.

      If quantum, Bio computing or more likely at the moment 3D printing come along with a major change it may restart growth, but till th

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      This is true, if and when we're talking about changes that are true advances. With cloud computing, I'd say the jury's still out.

      Among other things, the data security issues really haven't been adequately addressed. If a cloud provider upgrades their old equipment, what guarantee do you have that they really did a secure wipe of the drives in the old systems before reselling them or scrapping them? What happens if someone hacks into one of these services and gets ahold of your data? Will you even know it

    • by s.petry ( 762400 )

      Such a simple metaphor does not explain an economy. We have gone from dumb to dumber, and Microsoft is posing more of the same. We as a society have given away not only all of our ideas, but the source code and blue prints so that other people can build it. Did we do so for the betterment of society? Hell no, we did it to make a whole lot of short term profit at the expense of society.

      All of these "Cloud" cheer leaders are great, if you don't think about anything but a bottom line.

      Did we learn nothing f

    • by gutnor ( 872759 )
      That is nice to see that written in history books. When you are contemporary with the events, that is a lot less fun. Go have a look how all those ex-manufacturing heavy region of the US or Europe and see how outsourcing is improving the world quality of life and economy. Go back in time and explain to the native american how, from their death, one of the greatest nation on earth will rise.

      The interesting bit is how we will deal with the collateral damage, because, let's be honest, the IT guy that will lo

  • I can't imagine how anything could be worse than my IT department.

    • by tqk ( 413719 )

      I can't imagine how anything could be worse than my IT department.

      How about the non-existence of your IT dept? How do you feel about flipping burgers?

    • I can't imagine how anything could be worse than my IT department.

      Imagine a hardware failure, and instead of waiting 30 minutes for your on site IT staff to replace a hard disk drive, you have to wait for a local independent contractor to arrive, and because they can't be fully trusted as a normal employee it takes them a day or more to get your workstation back online -- For every configuration option and administration access the contractor needs to call the remote IT help desk for the info, thus there's a severe shortage of anyone willing to work in such a frustrating

  • So one person does around a hundred different jobs as needed.
    • ...until the network equipment/connection at Acme SmallBiz Inc. goes 'splat', their cloud goes down for more than a few hours due to some stupid bug [], the A/P department goofs a payment or two to the cloud provider causing a disconnection, or Joe Overworked at Cloud, Inc. decides that he can make oodles of money selling some of the juicier trade secrets to the black market, or...

      Yeah. Not seeing the Cloud (cue choir music) as the big panacea that all the Cloud retailers present it as.

  • Oh brother (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:39PM (#39254029)

    When are we going to accept that technology SHOULD be used to eliminate jobs and create more free time for more people? We need a SOCIAL change, urgently. Work shouldn't always be about moving wealth upwards while we scramble around in a "Hunger Games"-type society.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      Yeah, but think of all the free time you'll have when you don't have to go to work every day.

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Aside from the dearth of free-to-play and cheap games that I could spend a lifetime playing, I have the Internet at my fingertips. I can literally learn to do nearly anything and read up on any subject I would want to. I practically have Memory Alpha [] at my fingertips. What reason (aside from socialization and exercise) would I ever want to leave my home if I had the option not to?

        • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

          would I ever want to leave my home if I had the option not to?

          With a generous benefactor paying all your bills, why would you ever need to?

    • Re:Oh brother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:44PM (#39254117) Homepage

      The problem is that we still use jobs, income, and money as a means for distributing food, health care, and other things necessary for life. It'd be great if technology meant more free time, but still enough income to support an average quality of life, but that's not yet the case.

      • It'd be great if technology meant more free time

        It does. Last summer our family lived in an apartment while our house was being renovated. There was no dishwasher. I had never before realized how much time that piece of technology saves. Instead of driving all over town looking for something I can search online now. Instead of driving to the video store I can PPV a movie and on and on... Technology has given us a lot of time back, we just take it all for granted, or 'waste' it watching YouTube videos.

    • by MattBD ( 1157291 )
      Agreed, but we're going to need some very radical reforms to achieve it. One possibility is for a tax-free minimum income for all adults, which people can choose to supplement through paid employment, and another is for using legislation to reduce people's working hours. Unfortunately I don't see much of the electorate liking either - businesses would probably campaign against reducing working hours, and it's all too easy to imagine a minimum income being painted as encouraging "scroungers".
    • What do you think the whole OWS movement has been about? That's your social change right there. They're out of work and pissed. When a nation is in a state of instability and upheaval, that level of wealth consolidation is simply too unstable. We are, and have been in a major state of "correction" for some time now. And to make matters worse, a lot of the wealth has been flowing overseas instead of being re-invested in our nation. An honest-to-God trickle out of wealth!

      We (Americans) are overvalued. Simple

    • That was the line I was sold too. The fact of the matter is that technology has done its' part: it increased productivity tremendously. However what the people who were trying to tell me about this magnificent future I should expect to find while i was growing up is that you can never underestimate the OTHER guys GREED!

      So it goes like this: A new technological invention allows workers A & B to do the same amount of work in half the time. Fire worker B and worker A still works the same amount of time

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        However what the people who were trying to tell me about this magnificent future I should expect to find while i was growing up is that you can never underestimate the OTHER guys GREED!

        You grew up in Miami in the early 80s?

  • by jaymz666 ( 34050 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:39PM (#39254033)

    Isn't the point of the cloud to move all these services to central locations where they are managed by fewer people?

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      exactly. as such it's funny to hear about such a study.

      that's pretty much the whole idea of IT, to reduce jobs/workload.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        With the rise of stuff like Puppet, Chef, etc., I cannot for the life of me imagine where these jobs are meant to come from.

  • Sure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:40PM (#39254049)
    Once we automate the factories, we will hire more managers and executives.
    Once we outsource the call centers we will hire more technicians.
    Once we use all the oil we will invent something else.

    I have prime swampland for sale in the Sahara too.

    We have to get use to the fact that not all people will be producers in our society and that percentage of non producers will continue to increase. Does that mean that they have no right to a decent life? This is the future we wanted, where things are becoming more automated and peoples lives become easier. Is it really making anything easier. I would say no until we have a sea change in our socioeconomic views.
    • Re:Sure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:44PM (#39254123)

      Does that mean that they have no right to a decent life?

      Yes, the folks in charge want the 3rd world model, or the roman empire right before the fall model, where a couple people own everything, and everyone else is in extreme poverty.

      • Yes, the folks in charge want the 3rd world model, or the roman empire right before the fall model, where a couple people own everything, and everyone else is in extreme poverty.

        Wow, really picking at your statements today Vlm, sorry old chap :)

        I don't think that the folks necessarily WANT the others in extreme poverty, I think it just turns out that way. As the folks in power strive to make more money and more power, have their operations more and more efficient, it means that less of their wealth is being passed downward, which will eventually lead to the scenario you describe. If you look at it long term, I think driving the masses into utter poverty is probably a very bad idea

        • They know it too ; search for the Citibank "Plutonomy" newsletters, in which they advise their investors that the biggest risk to their investments is that the proles might rise up and vote for a more even distribution of the wealth.

  • The "cloud" paradigm will only transition IT jobs from in-house to managed external providers. The IT staff will be cut from physical locations, but managed IT providers will be looking to expand into the cloud environment and will inevitably hire the ex-IT folks. IT equilibrium.
    • Re:Reallocation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jaymz666 ( 34050 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:47PM (#39254157)

      Not really. If there were no benefits to moving to the cloud, because the same resources were needed, then these cloud service providers couldn't lower costs much.

      The end result will be less IT employed and worse SLAs for companies. Instead of a single outage affecting one company, it will affect many.

      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Bingo, you've described the real world situation with the cloud exactly.
      • If there were no benefits to moving to the cloud, because the same resources were needed, then these cloud service providers couldn't lower costs much.

        What about all of the myriad smaller companies where a fraction of a person is the only real resource needed for IT, and which a centralized (read: shared) provider suddenly makes a lot of services accessible to them?

        Because when faced with the proposition of hiring a "full time IT guy for salary to do 8 hours a week worth of work," most small businesses don

  • How did they account for the loss of jobs in the core business due to lower quality of service, lost data, stolen data, etc?
    Fundamentally no one wants to be in charge of spinning disks, and will savings from management voodoo make up for the cost of inserting a profitable intermediary?

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:42PM (#39254085)

    The study posts that, once small and medium business can use cloud products to just eliminate their IT department, they'll use those savings to hire people for their core business.

    Or they'll just put it towards profits and big bonuses for the CEO and senior staff, creating no jobs at all.

    • "Or they'll just put it towards profits and big bonuses for the CEO and senior staff, creating no jobs at all."

      As a CEO, your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • The study posts that

    The word you were looking for is "posits". And yes, it sure does suck if you were a redundant IT worker. Let's hope you learned something from slashdot after all these years.

  • by perbu ( 624267 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:45PM (#39254127)
    and it leads to increased efficiency. Those people can on to fulfill other functions. This is mainly the reason we're not all farmers anymore like in the stone age.
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:46PM (#39254139)

    But they'll be in China and India.

    • Maybe in india. China is about tapped for available workers and has been seeing up to 100% annual salary inflation on the low end jobs ($200 to $400) and 20% salary inflation in the middle jobs ($5k to $6k). India still has available workers but is seeing similar rates of salary inflation.

      It will be a painful 6 to 8 years more, but at some point it won't make financial sense to outsource / off shore jobs.

      However the cloud is really also about automation and robotics. Those trends are in place in all coun

    • The management jobs will go to India & China. The grunt-work IT jobs will go to Uzbekistan. Hey, those budding capitalists need work, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:46PM (#39254143)

    Still need security, Still need a networking staff, what you wont need is the DBAs, the active directory guys, but networking, hardware etc... they will be needed. If the internet doesn't work your cloud isn't going to do you much good.

  • Adapt or Die (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jholyhead ( 2505574 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:55PM (#39254267)
    If the industry shifts and you no longer need as many IT staff, so be it. Throughout history, advances in technology have wiped out entire professions - when was the last time you met a fletcher, tanner or a pencil and paper draughtsman? This would be no different. Technology progress inevitably makes some people's professions redundant, but they also open new doors. It is for those at risk of obsolescence to spot the trend and make the transition to one of those shiny new doors before their existing one slams shut in their face.

    I say bring it on.
    • The replacement of in-house IT by storage and apps in the cloud has been predictable and predicted for about 15 years now. Enough time to have gotten some retraining.
      I used to say that the conventional wisdom that your data was safest on a disk or tape in your basement would be inverted when it was realized that redundant internet server based storage run by specialists in IT would be superior in reliability. This was well before it was called the cloud. The kind of reliabilty Google was getting out of mass

    • Ok, well I will start by killing you so I can have your job. That takes care of the adapting part. As to the rest...

      What your Darwinian argument fails to take into account is rate of change. Evolution takes millions of years, what we are seeing now is happening in less then a single generation. Now you can try an compare that to say the auto industry but because those factories were run by lots and lots of people, there was time for the buggy whip makers and dung collectors to adapt wince it just basic

      • The rate of change is fast by evolution standards, but it is still years between a shift becoming inevitable and it completing. The cloud has been on the way for the best part of a decade. It has been called different things along the way, but the basic concepts have stayed the same and technology has been catching up, making it easier to implement, cheaper to maintain and more reliable to run. If the cloud has surprised you, it is because you weren't paying attention.
      • Good thing we don't need to EVOLVE the skills we need to survive in a cloud service dominated world, and can instead LEARN them via an educational system that's already in place.

        On a side note, did you also really think it took millions of years of evolution to turn buggy whip makers into auto manufacturers?

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      a pencil and paper draughtsman?

      OT perhaps, but I know an architect who still does all his drawings with pencil and paper. He had to train on computerized systems to pass his exams, but then it was right back to pencil and paper. He just prefers it that way.

  • The cloud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @05:57PM (#39254275)

    I've very recently been doing some digging into "the cloud" as requested by my superiors. All marketing/tech literature that I find from Microsoft is aimed towards entities that cannot afford proper admins to run their infrastructure or entities that regularly encounter huge peak demand. It also gives the entity the flexibility to suddenly scale up if they need more resources for a corner case, without the large capital investment required for in-house infrastructure.

    Everything that I was read, listened to, or watched from MS has been quite level-headed in which cases to use the cloud.

    I haven't had time to RTFA as the end of the day nears and I'm working on something else, but I find it strange for MS to do an about-face and claim cloud as an actual replacement for a proper in-house IT.

    • Microsoft have been pumping resources into Azure recently, both in terms of money and in terms of their best people. They're all-in at this point.
    • by hoppo ( 254995 )

      "I find it strange for MS to do an about-face and claim cloud as an actual replacement for a proper in-house IT."

      I don't know if this is 180 degrees from earlier marketing messages. In Microsoft's case, at least.

      That's kind of what we see when the reality of the situation intersects with the dream being sold before the technology matured. In an "all other things remaining constant" scenario, that would spell doom for IT admins. But as the cloud market matures, physical hardware costs diminish, power require

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:02PM (#39254335)

    Three strange financial assumptions:

    1) Cloud can only make money as a new intermediary by efficiency, having less people employed. However, they could employ the same amount of people by selling data.

    2) If scalability always worked, we'd only have one car company, one paper printing company, one taxi company, one book store, one food store... For their own sake I hope cloud stuff scales up that well, or we'll end up back where we started (at the usual great expense both monetary and human costs)

    3) Big companies always insource when its cheaper overall than paying the outsourcer. Ideal minimum cost would seem to be keep enough work and servers inhouse to keep a precise integer number of employees busy and outsource any fractional FTE to outsourcer. But can a company make money of outsourcing fraction FTE worth of cloud computing from each corporation? My guess is, in the long run, no.

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:02PM (#39254347) Homepage might as well walk away. What follows is always bullshit.

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:04PM (#39254363) Homepage

    "The cloud" doesn't get rid of the need for computers at the office, or networks, or people to support it. It also doesn't elimiante the need for people who understand how all this "cloud" pixie dust works, and most importantly someone who knows what to do when "the cloud" goes down randomly like last week and your website suddenly doesn't work.

    Less people running small data centers? Probably, if the hype can be believed. But a lot of people aren't sold on this.

    • by Pecisk ( 688001 )

      Denial is not the right way to deal with the change.

      Cloud *is* making low level admins out of job. I know hundreds of companies which uses Google Apps and leaves management of IT to one guy who is managing about such ten companies at once. And I have to break sad news for you - I actually can't remember where I have seen company with it's own web server within their own server room. Either it is old physical server at data center, but mostly it is virtual server instance at huge system, or even a shared hos

      • by jaymz666 ( 34050 )

        We host all our external web servers at a colo facility across the road from our campus. They have bigger pipes.

  • That's how many people the foresee it will take to prevent things like leap day bugs. Since obviously they don't have enough people to prevent it yet.

  • Does not matter. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:14PM (#39254485) Homepage

    Honestly we fired the Exchange guy when we moved to Google mail for businesses for doing nasty things in the building, Think finding socks with.... DNA in them in the server room. and instead of replacing him management decided that "it's working, we dont need him" That worked for 60 days until Exchange imploded like it always does when left unattended.

    I suggested that we move everyone to Google email for business until we can get things sorted. 90 days in, we have far less spam, zero downtime, zero problems, and all android and iphone people can sync everything perfectly everywhere. when that was discovered, management abolished all the crackberries, so now we dont have to run the damned crackberry server. Last department meeting they asked about any luck filling the position, we have had none as we have insane requirements for little to no pay. I mentioned we say screw it and eliminate the position and stay with Google.

    Got a $1500 bonus out of that.

  • I work as a systems and solution architect at a company that has been offering "cloud" services for 9 years - well, we only started calling it "cloud" a year and a half ago, but the product didn't change, just the marketing pitch. Sure, I may be a bit biased because "cloud" is providing an excellent lifestyle for my family and myself, but the reality of how it affects our customers on a larger economic scale is much different than "the sky is falling" opinions I'm seeing in here.

    Our customers are primar
  • by lymond01 ( 314120 ) on Monday March 05, 2012 @06:52PM (#39254979)

    Manager: Well, with this new cloud technology, we're saving $100K/year on hardware maintenance and replacement. Now, with that saving I propose we put the money toward some new IT projects..."
    CEO: My pocket.
    Manager: What?
    CEO: That's money in my pocket. We can keep the status quo and still make me richer.
    Manager: Really. We could put that money towards web development -- purchasing has been crying for a decent inventory application.
    CEO: My pocket.
    Manager: Or we could use it to hire someone else and give our current IT staff time for vacation and not working 80 hours per week.
    CEO: Overtime exempt?
    Manager: Well, yes.
    CEO: My pocket.

  • And automation can put people out of work. No real mystery. If an IT department isn't automating to keep costs down, they aren't a good department.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.