The 9 most endangered species in the IT workforce

The IT job landscape is evolving quickly. Here's how to avoid IT extinction

Darwinism is no stranger to IT. Given the pace of innovation, today's plum post is almost always one shift away from becoming tomorrow's pink slip. But the trends currently taking hold of IT organizations may have a broader impact on IT employment than we've seen in years.

It's no secret that the cloud computing revolution and the infusion of consumer devices into the workplace has wrought massive changes in IT. Job titles that were once considered secure are suddenly on the verge of extinction, thanks in part to a world where business users no longer have to go through IT to get to the technology they need to do their jobs.

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Call it the new IT ice age. And tech pros who don't evolve with the times risk joining the T-Rex and the triceratops in the tar pits.

We spoke with a number of IT pros about the jobs they see going away in the years ahead. Here are nine of the most endangered species in IT, along with advice on how you can avoid becoming one of them.

Endangered IT species No. 1: The Brown-Nosed Naysayer (Negativitus infinitus)

For decades, the Naysayer held sway over all tech decisions, wielding the word "no" like a razor-sharp claw to slash all requests, citing security or budget concerns. But the BYOD revolution and the universe of public cloud services available to users have rendered the Naysayer as harmless as a newborn kitten.

"We all know this particular type of IT pro -- the ones who think the customer is never right and users are guilty until proven innocent," says Tyler Lessard, CMO of mobile risk management company Fixmo. "They're part of the reason people are now storing business documents on Dropbox and connecting their own iPads to the corporate network without informing IT, creating new security nightmares. They're being replaced by a new generation of consumer-savvy IT pros who appreciate that we need to make room for employee choice and freedom -- as intimidating as that may be."

Organizations where the Naysayer still reigns supreme will have a tough time attracting top talent, warns Vincent Schiavo, CEO of DeviceLock, a provider of data leak prevention solutions.

"The prime habitat for the Naysayer are organizations unable to hire the most sought-after recent graduates," he says. "They'd rather work somewhere with a more progressive stance on enabling Android, iPhones, and other innovations in personal productivity technology."

How to avoid extinction: Practice forming the word "yes" with your lips, and embrace the new tech revolution. Then develop a mobile device management strategy that allows for granular control of devices and policy enforcement for social media, says Schiavo.

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