back to article Cloud will kill tech sales jobs

On-premises IT brings tech sales jobs in its wake. Cloud IT kills them. That's the thinking of a territory account manager in a storage IT startup. The thought process starts: "There is probably some statistic where, for every IT deal that goes to the cloud, there are 20 traditional tech sales jobs that are eliminated." How …

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Aren't you forgetting someone?

It is ok to mention Amazon but Microsoft are in this cloudy Biz as well....

I am sure that the MS grand Plan for world domination is to be the one stop shop for everything in the IT world. Who will need anything but a thin client when Azure is behind everything (with a windows 10 frontage naturally)

Well, that is my take on what they are trying to do. If that succeeds then they will well and truly 'own' you.

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Cloud will get rid of salespeople?

Good. /grumpycat

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Change jobs and sell the cloud, lol

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Good point, there will always be people needed to facilitate a sale for certain industries and apps. However, a change in the dynamic of sales is enough to make the channel market alter.

Certain markets like telephony might be decimated by cloud.

Personally, I believe there will always be a role for smart people and companies to bridge the online and the real world. But from my experience there are too many sales people with the wrong skills at the moment to cope with the move.

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Considering the number of fairly serious outages and security breaches that have occurred with these cloud based systems, I believe that people could be forgiven for thinking that it's probably not quite such a good deal as the sales people make out.

My own experience would make me very reluctant to go down that route at any price. I'm sure that there are companies that do provide a great service at an excellent price; but I've yet to work with one that I would trust.

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Optional

"Every time you or your family buy stuff from Amazon, VAR sales and support people, you are feeding the beast that wants to kill your job a cute little kitten dies."

Did I fix it?

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Re: Optional

I found that a little weird too - felt like one of those 'we all gonna die' stories if I don't send $10 somewhere.

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AI Leading Question[s] ‽ . .... of Virtual Safe Harbour Protections in Cyber Spaced Sanctuaries*

That would be such a beast just like profit and value augmenting taxes, Chris, which create goods and services and bubbles increasingly expensively and inevitably too unaffordable to sustain and maintain ‽ . And then the system goes POW and implodes and explodes ‽ .

Do you think the global financial crash of 2008 is over and you are in recovery or was it a harbinger of it and ITs Big Brother events which are anonymously and autonomously intelligently designed and currently causing presents with pasts spinning conflicting results of terror for markets and mayhem in CHAOS [Cloud[s] Hosting Advanced Operating Systems], and you are in a phase and pause of denial?

*Or is/are CHAOS not in league and leading Global Operating Devices [GOD] and your efforts at Universal Command and Earthly Control ..... yet?

IT's a Racket and not at all like War is a Racket

What say you on those virtual matters that really matter for they shape the future and effect your every existence?

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Re: AI Leading Question[s] ‽ . .... of Virtual Safe Harbour Protections in Cyber Spaced Sanctuaries*

Methinks a great deal of extremely vital information is shared whenever so very little is said about such explosive virtual matters, both here on El Reg and anywhere else where secrets and security concerns about IT concerns are aired and garner intelligent comment.

Whatever is one to do [in the future] whenever one has no clue what to do [about the past] too. 'Tis such a sad and rad and maddeningly mad dilemma, to be sure, is it not?

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More Leading Questions of Failed Systems of Exclusive Executive Administration‽ .

What say you on those virtual matters that really matter for they shape the future and effect your every existence?

And what say you on these virtual matters ……. The End Of The Fed's Self-Deluding Feedback Loop Of False Information …. a smoke and mirrors clone of those virtual matters that really matter for they shape the future and effect your every existence?

Be y’all as sheep and lemmings, oblivious and ignorant of your sub-prime condition and precarious position? Men or mice?

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Most VARs have moved with the times...

I have worked for various VARs over the last 15 years. The VARs that have ignored the cloud have largely died away, however the ones that embrace it have continued to be profitable. Your average SME still requires configuration and support services and this coupled with the comfort of monthly recurring business has made the cloud a secure business model. Yes I miss selling big on premise solutions, but this was a hit every 3-5 years. With the cloud you are guaranteed that revenue every month with a nice service wrap around. The danger would be if the cloud becomes so simple that every SME owner manager/FD can setup his own public or private cloud to run his entire business. Larger SMEs with internal IT might be able to do this, but I feel the vast majority will still rely on skilled and experienced VARs to do this and look after the solution for them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Most VARs have moved with the times...

Many, including Rackspace, figured this out. Many more will "fight" cloud until they ultimately go under... I'd have to agree with the thinking of Simon Wardley on this one.

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Quite honestly, from my perspective ...

... the "cloud" idiots are creating more, and higher paying, jobs.

How? I'm glad you asked ... what happens when the company's "cloud" goes down? Which happens fairly regularly. The answer is that the company's computer system is useless.

If it's in-house and distributed, and properly designed with proper redundancy, there will never be a "down" computer/network.

But carry-on, "cloud" people. I'm making a fortune in my retirement, fixing your sorry-ass mistakes. Ta! :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite honestly, from my perspective ...

"If it's in-house and distributed, and properly designed with proper redundancy, there will never be a "down" computer/network."

But surely the same argument can be slung at "cloud"?

The reason most go to cloud is it's "cheaper". But because the haven't bothered with diverse redundant links. When the muppett with the digger goes through the cable, the site is dead in the water.

Of course, if your site burns to the ground, you can go work at home. Many companies can't afford a DR site with duplicate systems, so for them the cloud is the best solution.

You pay you money and take your chances.

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@Lost all faith... (was:Re: Quite honestly, from my perspective ...)

"You pay you money and take your chances."

But if you keep all the money spent on IT in-house, you have a REAL audit-trail.

Something to ponder.

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Meh

Re: @Lost all faith... \

This is the viewpoint of a guy who does mostly software development, but the in-house infrastucture was always difficult to scale up where I worked at. It was all capital, so the hoops to jump through were brutal. And, even after equipment was fully depreciated/end-of-life, we had to beg to replace what was perceived as working well enough. The vendors were just awful, and as the years went on, put out increasingly fragile junk. SANs that "would never go down" had firmware that had to be replaced (and we often found out about this after a failure). Blade servers with massive internal redundancy would, invariably, fail (I believe in this case, it was the fibre channel controllers). Most of my experience with hardware has been with Dell/EMC and HP, others' milage will hopefully vary. And we would never, ever staff sufficiently to deal with firmware updates, drive replacement, OS updates, VMWare updates, etc. that were required to keep the stuff running. (and then there was Oracle, but that's another trail of tears...)

Sorry (and I know this will not be a popular view on this site) but I have seen far less outages hosting our stuff in the cloud. Granted, a lot of our problems were self--inflected and governance related. But, our incremental costs are smaller, so the decisions are easier for adding servers and/or increasing their capacity. Is it more expensive? Sure it is, especially since we lose any ability to depreceiate our costs for tax purposes. But we can actually implement things like geographic redundancy without playing "mother may I".

As far as the lost sales job, I would be fine if they all were borded on Ark B along with the hairdressers and hand sanatizers of Golgafrincham. They are paid to lie, they serve no extisential value other than caring for their families. Unfortunately, the disappearing sales jobs will be largely replaced by marketing jobs, who also lie, just to a broader audience (because it's all about scalability).

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Holmes

Re: @Lost all faith... \

>> Sorry (and I know this will not be a popular view on this site) but I have seen far less outages hosting our stuff in the cloud.

Yes letting someone else deal with the problem always causes less outages, not being able to see the seams and the wires always makes you think other people is clever than you and gives a sense of confidence.

I have seen Amazon screw with customers left and right, and what shocked me the most is how little they care about your permanence as a customer of theirs. Few companies can afford that, and it is a pretty dangerous thing.

Also AWS operates at a loss, a huge one indeed, never forget that.

>> They are paid to lie, they serve no extisential value other than caring for their families.

I'm actually concerned, not necessarily about sales people, but that in general in the Western world there is a trend of getting rid of everybody up and down, sometimes for dubious benefit.

I do not know what the company that you work for does, but companies that sell goods and services do not benefit from too many people being unemployed.

Just a thought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Lost all faith... \

AWS does not operate at a loss. At 25%, the AWS operating margin is similar to the non-GAAP operating margin for Cisco (29%) or EMC (19%). It's the rest of Amazon operates at a loss-retailers make their money at Christmas.

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Re: Quite honestly, from my perspective ...

The biggest problem with cloud-or-not debates is that it is exceptionally infrequent that apples are compared with apples.

The next biggest problem is that there is no one set of global requirements or priorities such that there can ever be a single answer. We all knew and accepted that when IT was predominantly in-house but it seems that far too many have forgotten that now.

Implementing the same thing in the cloud as in house will almost always always end up costing more in the long run. BUT, it's important to note that in some cases - probably a lot of cases - that's irrelevant. And for good reason (again, in some cases).

One position with cloud solutions that is FAR too common is that once you get rid of the internal kit, it's all now someone else's problem and those someone elses are far better placed to manage it all than a comparatively limited in-house team. The bit about that that can bit one in the rear is that offloading the 'problem' also offloads the control. This is important because all of this magic still runs on software stacks running on hardware platforms with their various firmwares and ancillary components, all of which are interconnected in complex ways.

That software and firmware still needs to be patched and updated and the hardware still needs to be upgraded and replaced and expanded and maintained. It's great that all of that is no longer the concern of the company but it still has to be done and it can - and does - still cause problems.

The key difference is that when you are running a distributed, global cloud, there is no maintenance window and no way to ensure that any operation is schedule so it has the least likelihood of impacting a given workload. Further, with such a large system, any problems that result may take longer to rectify.

Further still, these problems may affect an entire company's global operations whereas internal issues may have only affected one office or region. Take the failures of Adobe's Creative Cloud that had world-wide impacts - what if your entire global publishing house runs on CC? Not quite the same as the type of cloud operators being discussed here but Office365 failures can see whole regions or indeed multiple regions bereft of service. In a decently-implemented multi-region Exchange/AD setup, the loss of one site or even region should need not impact the other sites.

Now, none of this is necessarily a big issue - it's just something that is seldom considered and it is relevant when discussing the various pros and cons and especially when discussing costs because people tend to only see the savings and 'efficiencies' that will come from these migrations and therefore pay less attention to the potential costs.

Cloud services allow many companies to do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do by enabling them to increase their consumed resources quickly and easily without massive increases in capex. But one must always ask whether the product you are getting really meets your needs.

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@ dan1980 (was: Re: Quite honestly, from my perspective ...)

"But one must always ask whether the product you are getting really meets your needs."

I think you meant to typo "whether the product you are getting is really your best option, from a TCO perspective".

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pwl

Re: @Lost all faith... \

> As far as the lost sales job, I would be fine if they all were borded on

> Ark B along with the hairdressers and hand sanatizers of Golgafrincham.

...it was telephone sanitisers, and in the end Golgafrincham's population was wiped out by a disease spread through a dirty telephone handset... so be careful what you wish for.

> They are paid to lie, they serve no extisential value other than caring for their families.

> Unfortunately, the disappearing sales jobs will be largely replaced by marketing jobs,

> who also lie, just to a broader audience (because it's all about scalability).

this flawed characterisation is grossly offensive: I'm sorry if you've had some bad experiences, but the vast majority of marketing & sales folk (which includes all those pre-sales technical folk who do tons of work for customers for free) just want people to be aware of & take advantage of all the great technology that's being developed.

in my experience most of the problems that organisations encounter is when they try to mash together incompatible systems, under-spec their original requirements in order to cut costs, or simply don't understand what they're asking for.

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Re: Quite honestly, from my perspective ...

I wish everyone would stop saying going to the cloud is "cheaper". It is NOT cheaper - it's EASIER. Companies are going to the cloud for various reasons, but the primary function is that they can spin up environments on the fly, and not have to worry about procuring hardware and waiting for configuration, validation, compliance checks and other road-blocks. You can create templates and spin up your environment in a matter of minutes to hours. By NO means is it cheaper. This is why openstack is taking off, because companies want the cloud's flexibility and agility but don't want to pay the exorbitant amounts of cash to use it.

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Re: @Lost all faith... \

I agree mostly with your comments, but there are two things I take offense to:

1) Not all sales is paid to lie - I take serious offense to this. Having spent most of my career in technical sales, I can assure you I don't lie about products or services. While I know there are many who do, it's your company's due diligence to vet them out and not use those who do. Most likely those you dealt with were probably being paid to offer something "under the table" for someone else in the company. I never engaged in such corruption and have worked hard at what I do

2) You're comparing cloud to a failed on-premises deployment. You can argue this until your blue in the face, but the flaw with your argument is that you are comparing a solid cloud infrastructure with a broken on-premises one. A true on-premises environment wouldn't fail nearly as much as cloud.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Lost all faith... \

I hear your pain from the other side of the fence, but you forget this one:

"What's the difference between a used car salesperson and a computer salesperson ?"

"A used car salesman knows he's lying"

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In theory, this happens with on-premises vendor hardware software sales as well. Every time vendor A wins, vendors B, C, and D lose and opportunity for some period of time, and that could impact jobs.

Certainly software is stickier than hardware, so a software vendor's win will have a more significant impact on software competitors than a hardware vendor's win will have on hardware vendor competitors.

In the case of cloud, one would have to assume it is the last IT sale ever to assume the cloud eliminates jobs. Amazon Web Services has been hiring like crazy lately. Azure has as well. As the most important thing a sales person brings to an employer are his or her relationships with customers, it is likely many will move into sales positions with the cloud vendors.

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Terminator

Working for Amazon...

""Amazon Web Services has been hiring like crazy lately.""

The stories that one reads from time to time of Ex-Amazonians give me the shivers.

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On-Demand is On-Premise and On-Premise is On-Demand...

You can't have On-Demand without On-Premise and On-Premise is where the value lives.

Savvy VADS and VARS have already moved up the stack.

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Those that can't do, sell cloud

"On-premises IT brings tech sales jobs in its wake. Cloud IT kills them. That's the thinking of a territory account manager in a storage IT startup."

The thinking of a un-successful one maybe? Having moved from a cloud vendor to a VAR, whilst many are indeed looking at Cloud, people with triple digit IQs know that cloud isn't the panacea it's made out to be. Most people I've encountered cite cost as the driver, seem to have little appreciation of the true TCO, and in the last 5 years of selling cloud services to multi-nationals, only 2 bothered to look at the small print and challenge it. Thats before questions over the data......

Oh wait, silly me - hasn't every IT prediction come true? I'd better ask for my old job back.....

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Meh

Pain, then gain

From some book I read:

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going. To someplace else."

Industries rise and fall. If you want to sit around whining, go ahead.

The industry I was in collapsed (tech, but not cloud related). Now I do another kind of tech. Life happens, and the living roll with the punches. Now looking at the cloud for career number 3 in a series.

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All business models evolve eventually

Instead of keep selling iron by the pound, start selling services and value added features around the cloud.

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But it will create thousands of security service jobs because everyone know a cloud is just a bunch holes held together by water vapor.

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The cloud is a lie... it's just someone else's computer.

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Fewer IT Sales People?

I fail to see the downside.

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Anonymous Coward

Question

While some workloads migrate to the cloud, i've also read of companies that bring back on premises workloads from the cloud.

What do these people know that everyone else doesn't?

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Re: Question

The only companies/organisations I know who have had to return to on-prem have done it due to data residency issues and the ensuing legal issues.

Often a large organisation will organise a load of stuff to go the cloud and then their legal departments can't renegotiate contracts and then it's ripped to shreds after years of input. I'm sure Balfour Beattie did this and it cost them a lot.

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IT Sales team- time to wake up

The sales team of so called IT Sector is from all walks of life including those got retrenched and basically have no knowledge of what they sell.. they spend 80-90% of their time in travel

It is time that the full cycle member who went through development, implementaion and service should come forward to marketing instead of sitting behind the terminal 24x 7

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Anonymous Coward

Trust me, there'll be plenty of sales jobs

...within the cloud. We're transitioning our FTSE250 to the cloud (Azure) and there's plenty of sales people spinning crap to the execs. They're like hyenas around a kill yapping with glee at the stupidity of board-members who don't realise most everything useful is in "preview" and we'll have to rip out the what little we have in there and replace it with new standards in a year when it's released fully and changed. Of course that will need vendor support and 3rd party partners to put it in (because it's brand new) and those consultants will cost much more than buying the hardware. What are the bean-counters going to depreciate and write off over 3-5 years then?

All them sales people will just change a little and go from hardware onsite to cloud services. Plus cloud can't do everything (at least Azure and Office 365 can't) so there will always be some level of traditional hardware vendors.

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