IT departments are still required even after a wholesale switch to cloud services, according to Nick Folkes, CIO of security firm G4S.
Speaking to V3 recently, Folkes described that view as "a fallacy".
"Moving to the cloud doesn't mean you don't need tech skills any more, that's a fallacy," said Folkes. "You need to operate those cloud environments and stitch them together. We use Amazon, Oracle, Google and Microsoft, and they all need to play nicely together."
G4S is in the midst of a large project to move most of its infrastructure and services into the cloud, a move which many IT staff often fear means job losses. However, Folkes was keen to stress that this will not necessarily be the case at his firm.
"We also need networking skills to make these clouds connect, and be safe and secure. We do have a reduced burden on having to maintain it all ourselves though," he admitted. "We have no Microsoft Exchange skills having moved email to Google in 2015, so there's a natural attrition of skillset there.
"Cloud has accelerated the movement of technology. Perhaps you used to sign a multi-year deal with a storage vendor that gives you all the storage you need, but now you don't care as you can move to an IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service] platform and most allow you to move your data from Amazon to Azure or Google cloud compute, and you can do that with impunity," he explained.
Earlier, Folkes discussed his organisation's move to a DevOps model, explaining that it's a bigger cultural shift for the business than IT.
He concluded by adding that the firm still places huge demands on its IT staff, and that there are always more ideas for new IT projects than it can possibly fulfill, suggesting that IT roles aren't going to disappear at G4S any time soon.
"The usual case is that there's always more demand for IT than there is an ability to service it. So it's not about going through a process of lowering headcount, it's about making the most effective and productive use of that investment in IT headcount to drive benefit to the business.
"There's no shortage of new ideas for investment. We're globally dispersed, we have nearly 1,000 project ideas for next year and we won't do anything like that number. What we're doing is freeing up burden of having to maintain infrastructure and databases, so that gives us the capacity to do more with what we have."
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