THE NEXT DECADE FOR IT PROFESSIONALS
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” The general population understands less and less about information technology as it continues to evolve. This trend has not stopped since the 1990s. Truthfully, it hasn’t even slowed down! Companies need the technological edge in doing more with less, and they need professionals to make the technology run smoothly.
Here are some new ways to apply your IT skills in the ever-changing professional world.
“The cloud” is a general term for computer services offered over the web.
Instead of hosting your own website, storing your own files, or doing your own computing in-house, you can subscribe to a cloud service that handles it all for you. This would have cost a fortune in the early 2000s, when some people were still trying to decide if high-speed Internet “was the right choice for them.” Nowadays it’s common practice.
We already use cloud-based services daily: many individuals use DropBox or Google Drive to back up important files for free.
Google Drive even offers a business plan for entrepreneurs and small companies. Larger businesses can use products like Microsoft Azure to handle computing and storage for companies that don’t have the physical space to hold it, as well as for professional teams that need to access that data at various times and locations throughout the week.
This trend is only becoming more important—not just for connectivity, but for lower costs and better security.
The Amazon Web Services cloud, for example, already counts U.S. government agencies among its customers because it specializes in security. Non-cloud services can’t offer that kind of security, convenience, and competitive pricing. IT professionals can help businesses transition into the cloud-powered world to save a ton of money.
Cloud services essentially apply economies of scale to IT products, because the web developers only need to write the code once! Google Drive and DropBox actually offer free service at the lowest level because they make enough money on paid subscriptions.
The thing is… most people don’t know what’s new, what’s priced well, or even what they truly need. IT professionals will bridge the gap between these economical business solutions and the businesses that need them.
The start-up surge doesn’t preclude non-tech companies! There are tons of entrepreneurs, agencies, and small businesses that need to make use of technology without footing a huge bill for corporate-grade IT networks. They simply don’t have the budgets to retain a full-time person, but that’s to your advantage.
This is where you come in as a consultant. You can charge a good premium rate, and it won’t matter in the long run because the clients are still saving money by not paying you for full-time hours, every month.
You earn a higher rate that fills out your full-time week while your clients save money on hiring a consultant. It’s a win-win scenario!
There is just too much tech for non-tech professionals to understand entirely.
There are network systems to set up, websites to plan, hosting solutions to rent, company-wide databases to maintain, customer relationship management software to access, and content management systems that require upkeep.
Most white-collar workers just don’t know how to handle it all, either: who offers the best products? Who offers the best prices, bundles, and so on? Are there more cost-efficient alternatives?
The market has never been better for professional IT consultants, and the next decade is about to make them even more valuable. Besides, charging $60 per hour to fix a modem on the fritz is a nice way to earn money with your downtime!