The local “IT guy” who installs and maintains computers for small businesses is facing a bleak future. Cloud software and services are easier to buy and manage andoften a lot cheaper than running your own server. Even Microsoft has terminated server software for small businesses in favour of its cloud software suite Office 365. Talking about replacing office servers provokes strong emotions among IT professionals. “Thanks for assisting in putting a nail in the jobs of hundreds of thousands of IT Pros who keep local servers and services running in their communities. We really need pricks like you touting the rubbish that BIG COMPANIES should get MORE profits and the little, often self-employed IT people should be made extinct,” commented one reader. But the transition to online or cloud services is inevitable because they are much better value. Here are three reasons why the writing is on the wall for IT professionals who refuse to change with the times.
1. Servers Are Moving Online
A business with a reliable internet connection can buy a cloud server for less than half the price of a physical server and set it up in a fraction of the time. A cloud server can shrink or expand in power automatically so that a business only pays for exactly what it needs. And cloud servers don’t require an IT guy to perform regular maintenance or replace the hardware every five years. The biggest names in cloud servers such as Amazon and Rackspace are building data centres outside the US to improve response times. Businesses in Melbourne and Sydney CBDs can connect to Amazon Web Services’ new Sydney data centre in a blazing 20 milliseconds. Why would a business saddle itself with the extra cost of buying, maintaining and securing its own server? Cloud apps are also replacing common server types. Email servers are disappearing thanks to cloud suites Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. File servers are being replaced by Dropbox, Box and other cloud storage services.
IT Pros will see less demand for supplying, maintaining and upgrading servers for small and medium businesses.
2. Applications Are Moving Online
The days of loading an application onto your desktop PC by CD are coming to a close. Microsoft and Apple are encouraging users to download programs from their own app stores – whether they are using a laptop, desktop, phone or tablet. You don’t need an IT guy to load, install, test and configure programs for you. Apps from the Microsoft Windows Store are guaranteed to run on the latest Windows 8 operating system. The same goes for Apple’s App Store on the Mac. Choosing and installing software is becoming point and click.
IT Pros will see less demand for installing and configuring software.
3. Mobiles Are Replacing PCs
Already, more smartphones are sold than PCs. Analysts predict that more tablets will be sold than PCs within two years. And with the rise of mobile computing formats the importance of the PC in the workplace is slipping. IT Pros who provide break-fix services for PCs are out of luck with the move to mobile. Smartphones and tablets are as configurable and repairable as your toaster – they are low-cost appliances that are cheaper to replace than fix. Laptops and PCs are following this trend towards computing appliances. Google is obviously emulating this with their low-cost Chromebooks. PCs are more powerful than they have ever been so they need less frequent replacing. Operating systems last much longer than intended too – Microsoft stopped selling Windows XP in 2008 but it’s still powering a third of the world’s PCs.
IT Pros will see less demand to configure, install and refresh desktop and laptop PCs.
This transition to cloud services and mobile computing will take some time. Maybe things will remain just the same for another two or three years. But at some point the worm will turn. IT Pros who aren’t revising their business models will face declining revenue on a number of fronts.
**Original Article by Solto Macpherson- http://boxfreeit.com.au/2013/07/01/why-your-it-guy-could-lose-his-job/?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=OutbrainWidget