HP: Cloud computing will cut 'dull' IT jobs

HP: Cloud computing will cut 'dull' IT jobs

Summary: HP's UK managing director admits that trends such as software-as-a-service and utility computing will affect the bottom rung of IT jobs.

HP claims IT departments should be prepared for some churn and upheaval in coming years as companies begin to embrace the idea of "cloud computing", which could result in many low-level IT jobs being cut.

Stephen Gill, vice president and managing director of HP UK and Ireland, said on Monday that many large organizations currently devote around 70 to 75 percent of their IT budget to managing their existing infrastructure, leaving little room for innovation that can bring value to the business.

However, by embracing the idea of cloud computing--where applications are hosted and computing power is virtualized and available as a utility--HP claims companies are able to effectively outsource the need for maintaining complex infrastructure and reduce their IT headcount as a result.

"Overall you will see less people but with different jobs [and] more exciting roles," he said. "The junior roles are the ones that are usually dull and that will be automated anyway." HP is hanging its vision of how cloud computing will affect the industry around the term "everything as a service".

Gill claimed HP had been undergoing an internal reorganization--although it is not clear how much the strategy is related to cloud computing--that had seen it cut its IT staff from 19,000 to 10,000 over the past three-and-a-half years. "Most IT departments want to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the business and that is hard to if you are spending 70 percent of your budget on infrastructure," he said.

HP is not the first company to sound the death knell of the traditional IT department. The trend towards hosted applications, utility computing and outsourcing have all combined to prompt other vendors and analysts to predict an upheaval in the way companies will manage their internal IT in the future.

Back in 2005, analyst Gartner predicted that by 2010 IT departments in midsized and large companies will be 30 percent smaller than they were in 2005. "Jobs in technology infrastructure and services will decline in end-user organizations but grow in service, hardware and software companies, but many of these jobs will be in developing economies," the analyst claimed.

Topics: Cloud, CXO, Hewlett-Packard, Software, IT Employment

Andrew Donoghue

About Andrew Donoghue

"If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism."

Hunter S. Thompson

Andrew Donoghue is a freelance technology and business journalist with over ten years on leading titles such as Computing, SC Magazine, BusinessGreen and ZDNet.co.uk.

Specialising in sustainable IT and technology in the developing world, he has reported and volunteered on African aid projects, as well as working with charitable organisations such as the UN Foundation and Computer Aid.



Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Do you trust your data to China, Russia or Malaysia

    you better...
    • Thank you for saying that

      In the headlong rush to outsource data services, data security is getting shuffled aside in the quest for more profit. Storing large amounts of Privacy Act and HIPAA data in a foreign data center...think about that for a minute. Putting that much juicy information about US citizens in the lap of a foreign government and expecting them not to start building detailed dossiers on American citizens.

      If that doesn't scare you, think about negotiating a deal with a foreign company and the people across the table know everything about you. Where you shop, the meds you take, your credit card charges, medical history...what you spend your money on. Not just you, but all your fellow employees and senior execs in the company. Holy crap.

      Imagine them having a complete financial history on the people being elected to Congress in the next few decades. Hey, Congressman, we noticed you're paying for an apartment in D.C....funny thing, there's a really cute little gal in that apartment. We're guessing that's a friend of your lovely wife (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Now about that trade legislation....
    • It said developing countries ...

      ... the way the US is going atm, that will include it too.

      This is really just about the US trying to host the world, to take a cut of every transaction that goes on ...
      • Just like the EU...

        who, an it's typical, is a day late and a few Euro's Short.
      • And China, Russia and Malaysia are what...

        top of their game?
    • No I don't ...and is JA country that does

      is in for a real surprise, unless those countries become stable.
    • Typical response

      Coming from one of the above mentioned countries, I find your comment offending

      We are more honest, genuine and humble in our approach as we are improving/developing our country

      It is the American we should be worried about. The so called "big brother" of the free world. And the arrogance that comes with it
  • RE: HP: Cloud computing will cut 'dull' IT jobs

    Another example of "Corporate Thinking", In their world ALL of the "dull" work will be outsourced and they will no longer have to deal with the "workers"
  • Like it not -

    I agree with the HP assessment. Evolving roles in the tech community are constantly changing. Change with them or move on to something else - whining/griping about it will not change it.
    • The problem with this vision

      Is that HP see's the IT department as going away. Just a minor question if a company outsources it's infrastructure and that infrastructure requires maintenance who does the work? I'd guess whoever the infrastructure has been outsourced to in the first place. The next piece is when that VP of marketing's PC goes belly up who they gonna call when the IT guys are gone? You think they're going to wait the week or so to schedule an appointment and have a tech come fix the problem or they gonna hire a guy on the departmental level to fix the PC. IT jobs aren't going away they are being moved out to the departmental level. Which is going to mean more turf wars and more corporate politics and less communication between departments. It really doesn't matter if your network is serviced by a 3rd party if when it breaks you don't have somebody who can fix it NOW not based on a service agreement.
      • Not what it says-

        Low level jobs would be cut - assuming an organization moves applications to the proverbial 'cloud', SAAS continues to grow, then more users could be using thin clients / browser only devices for many services. As a result, fewer PCs / Servers / infrastructure devices for IT to maintain.

        Your thin client dies, go the closet, get a new one, plug it in and go. The days of the 'x' IT techs for every 'y' employees are gone.
        • Yup, all the "me-too" idiots lose out

          and about time too. That's gotta be bad for sales of Windows ;-)
          • Spoken like a true Mums boy.

          • And Speaking of your Mum...

            I guess that means Linux and Apple as well. You obviously do not work for a real company or you would realize how stupid that statemen is.
        • Only problem with that...

          SaaS and cloud are great "ideas", but at this point and time and at least in the next 10 years it's not grounded in the enterprise reality. My company is a fortune 1000 company (regulation changes moved us from 500). Our sales people - at this time - will not be able to use a "cloud" web based environment. The whole "teathered" scenario does not work.
          - Wireless - too slow can costly
          - Wireless - spotty at best would have to be available at every location - not there yet
          - Network access - highspeed, etc. Some of our customers do not allow an outside laptop on their LAN etc.
          Our guys need to have a un-teathered solution. That is at best vaporware, but heading in the right direction.

          I see all of the college kids come into IT with their mobile devices and expect our sales people to use them - just not there yet. They have a very sharp reality cut that heals.
  • RE: HP: Cloud computing will cut 'dull' IT jobs

    Sounds like more marketing blather to me. At some point someone has to touch some hardware even if it's to write software. If they don't know your first choice of language it's only going to make it tougher.

    Developing countries only "develop" so long.

    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two. It should be interesting to see who all falls for this B.S.
    • HP for one

      I worked within HP as a consultant/contractor for 6+ years. I watched the IPG IT support group go from a thriving, well managed support group to absolutely nothing with all support outsourced to India/China.

      People could not get their jobs done for waiting for support and the number of items dropped was astounding.

      Then the infamous move from 19,000 IT to 10,000 IT. They were cutting programs/applications/servers wholesale. Again, people could not do their jobs and there were no replacement programs to take the cut apps place.

      Underplanned, underfunded and understaffed. That is the IT vision of the future. As others have said, like it or not, that's what is going to happen.

      Those companies that value service above all will make it work because SERVICE and the CUSTOMER matter. Those that are like HP that value a bottom line only will watch as talent leaves for "warmer climes".

      Good luck -- one and all -- we need it.
    • "Marketing Blather"

      brian ansorge
  • RE: HP: Cloud computing will cut 'dull' IT jobs

    That's right, find a way to do away with jobs, not create them. I thought the latter is what Uncle Sam had in mind when they gave out the tax id #! Great way to help boost our slumping economy!
  • Sounds like a sales pitch to me...

    Hey, just get rid of your loyal workers who helped build your company and spend those savings on us. Come on, you can trust us with your data and proprietary information that gives you an edge over your competition. Oh by the way, did you hear about the death of the mainframe, or how about, no one needs COBOL programmers, better yet, the paperless office. Same old sales pitch