The 9 most endangered species in the IT workforce

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

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"Apps are too cheap and too awesome these days to truly warrant having an internal mobile team building a company a proprietary app," he says. "These internal teams, who spend most of their time navel-gazing at their BlackBerrys, are being replaced by people who listen to end-users and adopt best-of-breed apps for specific enterprise problems."

How to avoid extinction: As with the Data Center Dinosaur and the Sys Admin, coders who want to survive need to expand their expertise and align their skills with the needs of the business, says StorageIO's Schulz.

"Coders and script junkies need to also be integrators of business logic, cloud tools, and more, or they'll join the ranks of mainframers who are becoming extinct," he says.

Endangered IT species No. 9: The Ridge-Backed Technocrat (Bureacratus extremis)

For years they ensured job security by building technology silos and defending their turf via arcane policies only they could understand. Now their natural habitat is overrun by business managers who no longer need to seek approval for technology purchases, and threatened by executives who don't understand why they need to buy more boxes to "scale" their already sprawling networks.

"This species is being forcibly driven into extinction because of the convoluted and archaic policies they force on unsuspecting users and line managers," notes Rob Enderle, principal consultant with the Enderle Group. "They can single-handedly turn jobs into a living hell and make surviving an approval process harder than swimming to the center of the earth."

The technocrat purposefully creates network sprawl to address scalability and performance problems, but ends up creating massive amounts of maintenance and management work, says Peter Doggart, director of product marketing for Crossbeam, a network security platform provider.

"In the past when products failed to perform as expected, technocrats could just insist more boxes were needed and no one would be the wiser," he says. "That day is coming to an end."

How to avoid extinction: Stop defending your turf and start building alliances with other teams, says Doggart.

"Technocrats can survive by making things more efficient and saving money for the application guys," he adds. "They need to embrace a next-generation model and adopt consolidation technologies that can eliminate pain within the organization."

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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