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Some IT professionals losing relevance

Mar. 27, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
The IT workforce could be in the midst of a tech-fueled evolution.
The IT workforce could be in the midst of a tech-fueled evolution. (USDA)

The makeup of the future IT workforce could be significantly different than today’s, and Agriculture Department CIO Cheryl Cook is trying to predict what the changes might be.

Some of the IT staff that CIOs need today could go the way of secretaries, whose work in many cases is now done with automated tools, she said, speaking at an AFCEA event on March 26.

Today, cloud vendors like Amazon can give users access to virtual machines within minutes, as opposed to waiting weeks or months for the IT department to provision servers. The IT professionals who do that work will be less needed. Further, agencies are contracting out much of that kind of work, she added.

The challenge is figuring out what role the department’s IT personnel will play in the future, she said. “We don’t want to lose [IT] skills. We want to figure out what is the future in terms of training our IT staff.”

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