If you're among the skeptics who dismiss cloud computing as a mere buzzword, take heed: Major organizations have already started their transition into the cloud. If you work in the IT field, you'd best prepare, as your very career could be at stake.
Critics of the cloud maintain it's not sufficiently secure or reliable to truly become a major platform. What they don't get is that their CEO gets cloud computing in a big way: It's cheaper, and the bottom line rules the day for your average CEO, especially during a slow economic recovery. Your company sells widgets (or whatever) for a living. That's the reason for its existence. Your company didn't want a six-foot-high matrix of hardware sitting in air-conditioned, raised-floored, supercomputer room with a staff of a half-dozen people to manage each major app.
CEOs know they can get rid of all that additional IT expense, including both hardware investments and staffing costs, by outsourcing to the cloud. Over the past decade, IT jobs were outsourced to cheaper foreign lands; this time, they're being lost to the even-cheaper Internet.
Still skeptical? Consider this: Even the security-conscious U.S. government has adopted a cloud-first policy through which federal agencies are required to default to cloud-based solutions whenever a reliable, cost-effective option exists. Even the General Services Administration is getting rid of its U.S.-only data storage requirements. For those of us with decades of experience in the public sector, this represents a huge mind shift from the federal government.
The move toward cloud computing will impact IT jobs significantly. For example, if you set up server hardware for a living or if your job is focused on a single application that can be moved to the cloud, you should start preparing for cloud and data center jobs.