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SolarWinds: IT Professionals - Why it's Critical to Move Toward a Business Skill Set to Stay on Top of Virtualization and Cloud Technologies in 2012


What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? Find out in this series exclusive.

SolarWinds: 2012 Predictions

Contributed Article by Jonathan Reeve, Senior Director of Product Management, SolarWinds

IT professionals: Why it's critical to move toward a business skill set to stay on top of virtualization and cloud technologies in 2012

In 2012, IT professionals will come upon a fork in their career path. Thanks to the game-changing nature of virtualization as the foundation of cloud computing, the technology has ushered in new challenges, new day-to-day responsibilities and, soon, new roles for IT professionals as business leaders within their organizations. Choosing to accept the challenges will require a business skill set and thinking beyond the walls of the IT department. 

IT professionals as business leaders will need to demonstrate their expertise by identifying and implementing the most appropriate virtualization and cloud tools that fit their company's needs. What's more, they will need to be held accountable for the quality and reliability of IT services delivered to their companies on these new architectures. Deciding not to take this step forward will result, at best, in IT becoming a middleman between CEOs and cloud service providers. Or worse, IT will lose its value and place in the organization. 

IT pros should be asking themselves where their companies are heading in order to be prepared and stay competitive. The good news is that IT departments should be well-positioned to understand the unique requirements of the businesses they support (so long as they're listening!) Here are some tips on what IT professionals need to be paying attention to in the coming year in order to move toward a business skill set. 

Embrace the evolution of virtualization. First and foremost, IT professionals need to be up-to-speed on the evolution of technology and know how to manage a virtual infrastructure, including its performance, availability, capacity and applications. A core understanding of virtualization and cloud technologies has become table stakes for IT leaders. 

Develop partnerships. IT professionals will need to identify and collaborate with vendors that are making it easier to adopt features that enhance virtualization and facilitate the transition to cloud computing. Start experimenting early and often - This will simplify the process for IT professionals whose companies are looking to move into a cloud infrastructure. Another advantage is that this will demonstrate their ability to develop and manage vital partnerships that provide the right enhancement features for their companies' needs. In the world of IT as a "broker" vs. a "builder," these partnerships will be essential going forward.

Become a successful business leader. This is the defining piece. IT professionals need to become prominent leaders and advise their companies on the right infrastructure needs to drive the business forward. Companies are looking to trim excess costs. And with the rise of service providers, businesses could potentially eliminate the middleman altogether - which can mean IT professionals are out of their jobs. Skills such as marketing and product management are not only for vendors - they are becoming increasingly important for IT departments whose delivery of IT services is inevitably going to be compared to outside service providers.

With these evolving job expectations for IT professionals, it will be essential to use the right mix of virtualization and cloud tools combined with business skills to be ahead of the game in 2012.


About the Author

Jonathan Reeve has built a career integrating hands-on technical development with senior-level strategic management. Jonathan is currently the senior director of product management at SolarWinds. Having previously served as the vice president of product strategy for Hyper9, Jonathan was responsible for the company’s flagship product, Virtual Environment Optimization suite. Jonathan’s experience spans computer networking, systems management and virtualization technologies, helping numerous start-ups and established companies generate market traction. Prior to joining Hyper9, Jonathan drove product management for the network management product line at Smarts, which was acquired by EMC in 2005. Jonathan has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Computer Networking from the University of Durham (UK).

Published Friday, December 02, 2011 6:30 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:08 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of Once again, with the help

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