Server automation, cloud computing and virtualisation have changed the IT workforce needs of organisations, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan, and will cause some staff to lose out in 2011.
"Server configuration, server management, application installs, desktop support — we believe that these are areas that are largely going to be automated going into the future," said Arun Chandrasekaran, research manager with Frost & Sullivan at a Brocade datacentre trends of the future seminar.
According to Chandrasekaran, this automation is set to dramatically drive down demand for support and configuration staff in the new year.
It's not all bad news for IT staff, however: key skill requirements in future include open-source-savvy programmers, trained in a variety of different machine languages, virtualisation professionals skilled in application program interfaces (API) and virtual server implementation, and IT security managers.
The new skill requirements have been driven by Australia's fast-growing love of cloud computing and virtualisation, and the need for greener, cheaper IT, with 2.8 per cent of the world's power consumption used for datacentres.
According to Frost & Sullivan, Australia has the highest adoption rate of cloud computing services in the Asia-Pacific region. Research indicates that cloud take-up in other Asia-Pacific countries has hit 23 per cent of businesses, with Australia coming out on top with 35 per cent adoption.
Frost & Sullivan said that Australia also has one of the world's most prolific take-ups of virtualised infrastructure, almost equalling that of the US, Japan and Germany.
Chandrasekaran believes that Sydney will be one of the next big markets for cloud providers to deploy their gear, along with Hong Kong and Singapore.