Why I love working on IT & the cloud

I remember when I started working full time in IT, all the young professionals were employed by large contractors and consulting firms. The word then was “please help me find a job with a customer/end-user!”. When I recruit today, mostly people a bit younger than me, the word has shifted to “I love working for a contractor, as it does not enclose me in one function”.

OK, I did think about that early today, and wanted to write it somewhere, so I used it as an intro, to show my deep thinking in the wee hours of the morning.

However what I wanted to write about more extensively was about how I love working in IT today, and particularly on Cloud solutions, and how it is gratifying, compared to what we experienced a few years back.

Technology centric and support functions

Not so long ago, IT was a support function, and was supposed to keep the hassle of computers to a bare minimum. When interacting with our customers and users, the main issues and questions were about how we kept printers running, and emails flowing. If you worked on ERP or any management system, same thing : please keep that running so that we can do our job. For years, we had team members who loved technology, who delve deep into configuration and setups so that we could congratulate ourselves in building shiny new infrastructures, to try to keep up with users’ demand.

I will keep the example to my own situation. I went through technological phases, from Windows 2000 Active Directory, to Cisco networking, to virtualization, to SAN storage and blade servers, to end up on hyper-converged systems. For years I would generally not talk shop with friends, family or even friends from school (I went to a mix business/engineering school, so that could explain things). I did not see the point on digging into technical points with people from outside my “technological comfort zone”.

Don’t misunderstand the situation, I was aware that IT department was trying to shift its role from support function to help the business, but it was a bit far-fetched for me. Then came public cloud…

Business centric, and solution provider

At first we had a simplistic and limited public cloud (Hello 2010!), and a private cloud which was just virtualization with a layer of self-service and automation. I could begin to see the point, but still… it was a technologist dream of being able to remove a large portion of our day to day routine.

Situation evolved to a point where we had real PaaS and SaaS offerings that could solve complex technical solutions with a few clicks (or command lines, don’t throw your penguin at me!). And I started to talk with my customers on how we could help them build new solutions for their business, give them better quality of service, and have them understand me!

Of course some of that is linked to my experience, and the fact that am not in the same role as I was 10 years ago, but still. I now enjoy discussing with my former schoolmates and help them figure out a solution to a business issue, being able to help some friend’s business grow and expand.

IT can now be a real solutions provider. We have to work at gaining sufficient knowledge on all the cloud bricks to be able to build the house our business does not know they need.

Originally published here : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-i-love-working-cloud-frederi-mandin

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