I’ve been blogging recently about the professionalism, raising your skill set, treating your work product as production code that should be cared for, and practices for clean PowerShell code. Don Jones has been talking about similar topics as well, though more eloquently than I.
You’ll want to check out Don and Jason Helmick’s recent PowerScripting Podcast. About an hour and five minutes in, Don starts a rant about professional development that’s worth a listen. In it Don makes a statement that if you aren’t learning DSC now, you’re screwed.
That’s a harsh statement, but Don’s noted for statements like that. And I happen to agree. There is a bit of disagreement with the point.
Don continued the discussion with a blog post detailing why he believes that statement.
Where I see our industry
I think we are at a tipping point in the IT industry. One of the core conflicts in The Phoenix Project is the desire to remove IT from the organization. This conflict surfaces in two ways, an overt move to outsource IT and a more stealthy end-run around IT with outsourced SaaS offerings. The availability and pricing of cloud services offers businesses an agility that the old-guard IT does not not.
If the business is trying to reach for their goal and IT resists and gets in the way, we can’t be surprised that we find ourselves relegated to smaller and smaller roles or completely obsolete. If your sole value to the organization is that you can click the right button in the management tools for Exchange or Sharepoint or VMWare, then there are threats to your job security looming on the horizon. Office 365 or Google Docs threaten many of the core IT services inside an SMB or enterprise. AWS, Azure, Rackspace, and others allow business to question if the hoops they need to jump through to get a service deployed internally is worth it. Salesforce and Fogbugz and Basecamp all provide various services that used to be the domain of internal IT folk. All you need to use these services is a valid credit card. As long as you can pay, they don’t say “No”, and usually you can be working with the service in minutes.
What is your career plan if the service you support is moved to the cloud? Where can you provide value to the organization? Or if you need to look for work, what can you offer the marketplace?
High Performing Organizations
Businesses need to see their IT departments as a value-add. If your organization wants to move to a cloud service or wants to replicate that type of environment internally, are you ready?
With the surge in popularity around DevOps, high performing organizations are taking the spotlight, while traditional organizations are mired in muck and firefighting. Those traditional organizations console themselves with platitudes like, “that would never work here, we’ve got to deal with X”, or “our compliance requirements would never allow X”, while ignoring that their competitors who deal with the same business environment who are adopting these practices and winning.
Where Are You Headed?
Take an organization that has neglected its IT infrastructure and is mired in a mix of old servers and services, say stuck on Server 2003. The leadership of that organization finds out that other companies in their industry or similar industries are accelerating the rate at which they can deploy new services and are spending time on the stuff that matters to their customer versus what the business sees as fiddling with internal services.
When that decision is being made, how will you and your team be ready? Have you been looking at the newer versions of Windows Server and the automation tooling around it? Have you been experimenting with the various cloud platforms or looking at how you can build that feature set in your organization?