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Cloud To Create 14 Million Jobs? Not So Much

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the buzzwords-don't-get-silver-linings dept.

Businesses 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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Sounds good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39253965)

Sounds great. Less of the annoying IT monkeys and happier staff who can finally get their work done. Win all around.

Re:Sounds good (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39253999)

The IT monkeys will still be around and needed to keep your PC running, it's the actual skilled IT that will be losing work.

Re:Sounds good (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254055)

Why wouldn't the actual skilled IT people go work for the cloud service providers, again?

I'd much rather work for Google in one of their data centers than for a company being the "windows is broke, tell the customer to reboot," guy.

Re:Sounds good (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254077)

Because those jobs will be concentrated in fewer service provider centers, requiring fewer people to manage them.

Re:Sounds good (5, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254147)

Because those jobs will be concentrated in fewer service provider centers, requiring fewer people to manage them.

Isn't that what progress is supposed to be about: accomplishing the same tasks with less labor?

Re:Sounds good (0)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254183)

Of course. However the claim that the IT monkeys will be going away is ludicrous. It's the people behind the scenes that will be reducing in number.

Re:Sounds good (1, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254321)

Because those jobs will be concentrated in fewer service provider centers, requiring fewer people to manage them.

Isn't that what progress is supposed to be about: accomplishing the same tasks with less labor?

I view your assumption that the cloud would be progress with amusement. I'm making popcorn.

Re:Sounds good (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254451)

Isn't that what progress is supposed to be about: accomplishing the same tasks with less labor?

It's only meaningful progress if the benefits accrue to the average American worker. Otherwise, it's just further lining the pockets of the wealthy.

When productivity gains stop being broadly shared, Luddism starts to make sense. This is why massive concentration of wealth is a bad thing: it pits workers against innovation.

Yes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254539)

Labor-saving technologies are only viable in the market if they ultimately eliminate more human labor than they create. New technologies, apart from entertainment applications, *always* eliminate jobs in the long run. Either that or they don't get adopted.

Eliminating jobs is their primary purpose. Promising that they will create jobs is a direct lie intended to win the hearts and minds of the very people who will be put out of work.

Eliminating jobs is a *good* purpose. If the machines do our work for us, then we don't have to. Of course, there are economic consequences, especial since traditional capitalistic values don't work well in an environment with a very high percentage of automated labor. However, these are secondary concerns to the advancement of humanity.

Re:Sounds good (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254757)

Yes, unfortunately as time goes on we're going to have more and more people permanently out of work. It's a hurdle that we're going to have to get over as humans, and it will be a very, very high hurdle.

Re:Sounds good (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254655)

No, they won't.

You'll still need that skilled person around, and in fact, they'll have to possess more skills than the "skilled" person they'll be hired to replace (6 months after the person they're replacing was terminated).

Why?

Because this person will have to deal with all the bullshit and problems that comes with pushing things to the Cloud. Those problems may be fewer, but they will be significantly more complex not only due to the nature of the networking involved and the different architecture, but also due to the inability to actually get in there and fix the core problem. Surprisingly, not many "Senior Windows Administrators" are even able to understand virtualization, let alone the Cloud.

Augmenting SMB networks with Cloud services for resilience and redundancy? Absolutely! But replacing them outright is a good way for a company to deep-six itself. Why Microsoft would sell their clients down the river to this degree is beyond me...

Re:Sounds good (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254201)

Why wouldn't the actual skilled IT people go work for the cloud service providers, again?

You can't insert a profitable intermediary in between the same IT people and the old company without cutting jobs somehow. Supposedly centralization will result in fewer people doing more work, so less employees allow a layer of profitable intermediaries.

So you'll have 10 former IT guys and 3 jobs. The other 7, well there's always soylent green. Oh well.

The other problem is just being realistic, the 10 former IT guys will be in the US and the 3 new jobs will be in India. So its more like all 10 will go soylent green.

Re:Sounds good (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254337)

The other problem is just being realistic, the 10 former IT guys will be in the US and the 3 new jobs will be in India. So its more like all 10 will go soylent green.

I think you forgot to include that one or two of them will come back to the company as contractors when the cloud doesn't prove to be as amazing as first described in the sales pitch. Once the bugs start comng out and problems arise, a few of them will be hired back (probably at much higher rates than they originally worked) to solve the issues that are coming up so that the company can continue to operate "business as usual".

Re:Sounds good (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254461)

Sure you can. You assume that large companies are the ones who would be moving to this, when the summary specifically states small & mid-sized businesses "being able to use these services" would be where most of the creation would come from.

Small & mid-size. You know, the types of businesses that don't have dedicated IT departments, or who have hires in their IT departments who aren't 100% utilized. The types of companies where there's only a need for maybe 10 hours a week of IT support, for whom hiring a full time "IT guy" doesn't make financial sense. But if you take 4 companies that each need 10 hours a week of IT support and convince them to pay an equivalent amount, you just created a new job. Each client pays for their 10 hours/wk - a slight increase in their overall spend, but the guy who was providing that 10 hours / week as a sideline (let's call him "Bob, the sales and accounting guy") can spend that 10 hours a week on doing things that are more valuable to the company.

Re:Sounds good (1, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254875)

Small & mid-size. You know, the types of businesses that don't have dedicated IT departments, or who have ...

If you're using "no dedicated IT department" as a criteria for defining what constitutes a "small business", then I'm afraid your definition is next to useless.

You can check out this link [sba.gov] to help you better understand things.

For those following along at home: the term "small business" has a more defined meaning that what's used colloquially, especially when used (disingenuously) by politicians, pundits and, on occasion, unemployed plumbers, attemping to stoke populist rage.

Re:Sounds good (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254285)

it's the actual skilled IT that will be losing work.

Do you really believe that? Skilled IT will always be able to supply value to a business, regardless of whether the data or server is located.

Cloud is insecure (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254323)

And any skilled IT monkey who gets the cloud job but has a social conscience can hack at will all the smaller companies using their cloud services. "Anonymous hackers" simply means "guys who don't work for your company but can access all your data from their cloud job". lol

Re:Sounds good (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254431)

VDI deployments... all you need is your iPAD

horse manure gatherers out of jobs (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39253987)

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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254009)

Like pumping gas, for example...

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (2, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254237)

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

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (3, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254671)

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:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (1, Informative)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254113)

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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254353)

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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254257)

Come back on the first of the month when they get their food stamps and 40s of malt liquor.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254661)

The people who do still have jobs will have more disposable income and will spend more on things that would have normally gone to business costs. As a result, more money will flow into things like movies, concerts, and antique collectors pubic wigs. People in those industries will benefit and will want to hire more people as a result. That or they can join all the typewriter assembly technicians who refused to learn any other skills.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (2)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254409)

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 fewer workers doing the same amount of work. Unless something changes, we may well wind up with more and more workers chasing fewer and fewer jobs.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (4, Insightful)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254589)

If everyone is so focused on productive tasks, what is being produced and for who? In the 19th century, the average work week for a laborer was 100 hours, and with 19th century mentalities and coal power (and lots of social change) the work week gradually went down to 50 hours by the start of the 20th century.

Can you explain why we weren't able, with 20th century technology and oil energy, to reduce that further? Should everyone now sit in front of a computer and "produce content"? Evolution hasn't caught up with that yet, I'm fairly confident I'd be happier doing something else. With all our resources and so many "productive" people, well, where is it?

It's the process, stupid (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254693)

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 mouths to feed, but it's a helluva way to do it.

Computing is mostly mature sector (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254697)

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 then all we'll get are bubbles like Apple or Facebook.

Re:horse manure gatherers out of jobs (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254817)

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 happened? How many people have the opportunity to get their hands on your personal data who aren't even your own employees or hired consultants you interact with directly?

There's also a real question about outages being handled in a timely manner. Theoretically, the professionals using high-end gear at these data centers (hopefully with redundancy) can do a better job at keeping your data online than you can as a small or mid-sized business running everything yourself. BUT, the catch is, when they have an outage, they've got hundreds (even thousands?) of pissed off users, ALL of whom think their data is the most important to get back online. Meanwhile, these guys only make relative peanuts from you in monthly hosting fees so unlike your own employees, they won't have the vested interest in getting you running again.

Sounds great. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39253989)

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

Re:Sounds great. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254053)

A porno starring your IT department?

Re:Sounds great. (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254091)

Will it come with extra-strength eye bleach?

Re:Sounds great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254097)

A porno involving tranny versions of your IT department?

Re:Sounds great. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254851)

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?

Well they're "cloud" jobs... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254025)

So one person does around a hundred different jobs as needed.

Re:Well they're "cloud" jobs... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254471)

...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 [informatio...gement.com] , 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 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Oh brother (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254115)

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

Re:Oh brother (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254795)

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 [memory-alpha.org] 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?

Re:Oh brother (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254117)

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.

Re:Oh brother (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254533)

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.

Re:Oh brother (1)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254481)

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".

Re:Oh brother (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254537)

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 as that. We no longer have a monopoly on human capital. We're having to bid for jobs and a salary against the rest of the world willing to do it cheaper. Far cheaper. But that's not really the problem. The problem is the pace in how quickly this is happening. Society and our culture cannot take that shock in change so quickly. Hence, the problem with rapid unemployment that we are seeing now and the angst that follows along with it.

Re:Oh brother (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254557)

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 doing twice as much work.

Or this: a new technology enables a certain sector to do the same amount of work with only a 3 day work week. However GREED means that the OTHER guy will make its' workers work 5 days a week in order to outcompete you who thought it was all about 'free time'.

Really though, it's about GREED.

Re:Oh brother (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254745)

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?

Re:Oh brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254763)

When are we going to accept that technology SHOULD be used to eliminate jobs and create more free time for more people?

As soon as we get replicator technology with an inexhaustible power source.

Once that happens, free time will be awesome. Until then, free time is a fucking nightmare. Ask anyone who can't get a full time job that pays above the real (versus the government's hilariously bad idea of) poverty line.

Isn't that the point? (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254033)

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

Re:Isn't that the point? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254125)

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.

Re:Isn't that the point? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254833)

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.

Everyone stop saying "Not So Much" (1)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254043)

has everyone turned into an old jewish man?

Sure.. (5, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.. (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sure.. (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254743)

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 for the folks in charge. History is replete with incidents where the masses turned on their masters due to poverty and too much disparity between their two positions.

Re:Sure.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254203)

Sureeeeeeee... just cos you want your job, every small business will have its in house desktops (windows please.. they never break).. and of course while we are at it, why not have a in-house web server and a t1 line too ?

When your job becomes extinct, learn some new skills. Stop trying to keep the jobs alive.

The dumbest argument against Do-Not-Call list and for telemarketeers is... oh it is a job.. let them call you at 7.30pm just when you wanna sit down and eat.

Reallocation (1)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254063)

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 (3, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Reallocation (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254371)

Bingo, you've described the real world situation with the cloud exactly.

Re:Reallocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254519)

Don't forget security. With a bunch of company eggs in one basket, it doesn't take much for a rogue employee to sneak in a USB flash drive, copy off some data, and go out and sell it. The cloud client would have no proof that it happened, and the cloud provider could just play the three monkeys game, or even retaliate with legal threats ("prove that the breach happened with us, or we sue for libel".)

Of course, there is one thing about the cloud... it requires network connectivity. Which means there has to be someone familar with routing and network security at any site. So, net admin jobs are not going anywhere. PCs will still be around, as it is doubtful another Javastation/X-Station/dumb terminal [1] push would succeed much.

I don't see the job creation with regard to cloud computing. At the high end enterprise scale where there is cash available, rack and blades are almost a commodity, and coupled with vMotion, it just means having a tech physically pull dead blades out and replace them.

Of course, we can look at Apple's data center. With the amount of storage that facility has, the amount of actual jobs it has brought is like 20-30 admins, a few guys for facilities, and maybe some guys as techs to deliver parts when the Teradata or EMC VNX systems need them. Not much at all.

[1]: We see this cycle in computers every so often, with the "dumbness" being moved up the stack. First it was just hardware and serial terminals. Then machines got an X server, and we had X terminals. Then a JVM that could run some stuff locally. Now, we see machines with enough smarts to run Web browsers, such as ChromeOS. The result will be limited adoptation each cycle.

Re:Reallocation (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254551)

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't have the revenues to pay for another full time employee, so somebody who already works for them ends up putting on an IT hat 8 hours a week. Because the law tends to frown on dismemberment, hiring a fraction of a person is only generally possible in scenarios where a pool of employers is able to each pay a fraction of a single person's salary.

Lower quality of service (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254071)

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?

More likely to go into bonuses than hiring (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:More likely to go into bonuses than hiring (1)

fragfoo (2018548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254173)

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.

Yep, I also learned everything I know about management from reading Dilbert.

Re:More likely to go into bonuses than hiring (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254483)

Well, then you're one step ahead of management.

Re:More likely to go into bonuses than hiring (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254293)

"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.

You just can't "cloud" good writing, apparently (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254093)

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.

Re:You just can't "cloud" good writing, apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254273)

True that.

It is called progress (4, Insightful)

perbu (624267) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

It will create 14 million jobs (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254139)

But they'll be in China and India.

Re:It will create 14 million jobs (2)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254387)

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 countries. If a robot can do the typical human's job for $5k U.S., then that's what the typical job compensation will ultimately fall to.

Currently robots are replacing people jobs that pay about $18k U.S. and there was a post here about replacing a million chinese laborers who were making much lower wages.

This will literally break the capitalistic model and it's going to happen fairly soon (couple decades at most). There will be almost no job that can't be done by robots except for those involving creativity.

Re:It will create 14 million jobs (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254503)

The management jobs will go to India & China. The grunt-work IT jobs will go to Uzbekistan. Hey, those budding capitalists need work, too.

Still need services (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Not likely... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254153)

My boss doesn't see the sense in off loading his IT infrastructure into the hands of others.
You see data loss is not insurable, and if we can not trust ourselves to not fuck up, we sure
as hell cannot trust a 3rd party who doesnt care about the saftey of our data at all.

My job is safe.

BTW ask Microsoft which cloud service they use..
Oh... they dont eat their own dog food.
Funny that.

Re:Not likely... (2)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254277)

Today your boss doesn't see the sense of it, but he will one day - either that or he'll get fired when your business is no longer competitive in the marketplace.

There are no safe jobs. Only complacent workers.

Re:Not likely... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254313)

Which cloud service do they use? I would assume they don't need one and I can't find anything on the topic.

In my company it actually does (1)

cdrnet (1582149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254195)

... but on my counting, the result is not *more* jobs, but simply *more interesting* ones.

Adapt or Die (5, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

I have no sympathy (2)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254389)

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 massive redundancy and some smarts in management s/w and hardware operations should have been enough of a clue over the last decade or so.

Re:Adapt or Die (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254527)

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 basically moved the work force from one industry to another. That is not happening here.

Re:Adapt or Die (1)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254607)

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.

Re:Adapt or Die (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254703)

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?

The cloud (3, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:The cloud (1)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254305)

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.

Re:The cloud (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254419)

On-premise/ hybrid cloud is how you can use the word "cloud" in your report :)

Re:The cloud (1)

hoppo (254995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254845)

"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 requirements get lower (meaning less money spent on electricity), and hosting/bandwidth centers decrease their prices. For certain operations, it doesn't even make sense for a full cloud deployment. Which is why the tactic Microsoft is taking is to sell hybrid models, and it's also probably what led Amazon to unveil its VPC.

Who knows what the future holds? In 1993, still less than two decades ago, we could not have predicted what this Internet thing would turn into. Maybe we'll be out of jobs in a few years, or maybe this opens up new and different challenges for the future. Regardless, I have to get back to work.

Three strange assumptions (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

As soon as you hear the phrase "create jobs"... (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254347)

...you might as well walk away. What follows is always bullshit.

Uhh, no (2)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254363)

"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.

Re:Uhh, no (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254585)

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 host (not very wise idea if you are about getting tons of visitors, but for startup - it all matters how much it cost).

You probably won't like the truth but IT *finally* helps common crowd to deal with their business - and it cuts their costs too. Yep, medium and high level sysadmins will be needed. Also there will be need for virtualisation gurus. But if you are in small administration, then you should understand that change is happening.

In fact, I don't worry about admins. Because as far as I know admins are most adaptive people from IT sector.

Since when is tech supposed to creat jobs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254369)

Tech can't be labor saving and job creating. If it creates new job categories it's job creating but it's not labor saving. If it's labor saving it increases unemployment. End of story.

Pick one, or tell us it's job-neutral due to shifting skills; but don't try to feed "saves labor" to management while simultaneously feeding "creates jobs" to the unwashed masses to make us feel good.

14 Million coders - for all the bugs (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254465)

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.

Just scare mongering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254469)

This "study" is there to just scare IT workers. If you don't know Microsoft Azure, you will be left behind, is what they are hinting at. With the hope that more developers will run out and learn Azure.

Let's just say that Azure has been a huge flop because even after all the marketing and resources that Microsoft throws at it, IT shops are not willing to migrate to Azure because that requires a rewrite of all applications and the cost of running your apps on Azure is actually higher than having hardware and software on premise. Majority of businesses do not need elasticity of a cloud because their cheapo commodity servers can handle the load just fine.

Does not matter. (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39254485)

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.

Re:Does not matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254613)

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.

Awesome! I'm able to read some of your employee's email without even having to leave my house.

Re:Does not matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39254687)

Imagine the amount of socks one could buy with that bonus!

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