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The future of consultancy?

This is a discussion on The future of consultancy? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I just wanted to get your guys opinions on the way not just Exchange, but the IT industry in


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Old 07-11-2014, 03:39 AM   #1
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Hi,
I just wanted to get your guys opinions on the way not just Exchange, but the IT industry in general is changing. On the face of it, there seems to be a big drive in hosted cloud services, for a whole variety of functions now that we're reaching (certainly here in the UK) high speed internet nationally and high speed links globally. This naturally means less administration and a lack of 'the fun stuff' such as having the new hardware, setting up the server to your spec and ultimately having the same control as we might have been used to.

As a systems engineer in my mid 20's looking to specialise and narrow down into a consultancy role, it does feel like a scary prospect and an unknown area. The prediction is that by 2020, 50% of mail users will be hosted rather than have an on premise solution such as the current Exchange set up's.

Looking further down the line, is a career within Microsoft Exchange consultancy or IT consultancy in general really a long living, viable and lucrative career path?

Or is it a wiser idea to move into a datacentre/storage consultant type of role knowing that based on the current roadmap seems to be offsite hosted for many solutions and the need for enterprise level complex, highly available storage solutions is now likely a focal point.

what do you think?
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by PeterH1988 View Post
Hi,
I just wanted to get your guys opinions on the way not just Exchange, but the IT industry in general is changing. On the face of it, there seems to be a big drive in hosted cloud services, for a whole variety of functions now that we're reaching (certainly here in the UK) high speed internet nationally and high speed links globally. This naturally means less administration and a lack of 'the fun stuff' such as having the new hardware, setting up the server to your spec and ultimately having the same control as we might have been used to.
That's not entirely accurate. Who sets up and administers the "cloud servers"? We do. Those servers need configuring and administering, just like any others.

Further, any company that is security-minded is NOT going to host their confidential, mission-critical data in the cloud. There's always going to be a need for local administration... better yet, there's likely to be a need to integrate local and cloud-based systems. That's more opportunities, not fewer...

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As a systems engineer in my mid 20's looking to specialise and narrow down into a consultancy role, it does feel like a scary prospect and an unknown area. The prediction is that by 2020, 50% of mail users will be hosted rather than have an on premise solution such as the current Exchange set up's.
And who administers the hosted solutions? ;)

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Originally Posted by PeterH1988 View Post
Looking further down the line, is a career within Microsoft Exchange consultancy or IT consultancy in general really a long living, viable and lucrative career path?

Or is it a wiser idea to move into a datacentre/storage consultant type of role knowing that based on the current roadmap seems to be offsite hosted for many solutions and the need for enterprise level complex, highly available storage solutions is now likely a focal point.
I never felt the burning desire to specialize in one area of IT, instead becoming a jack-of-all-trades. I can configure, administer, and secure all varieties of network devices, servers, and applications. The more I can do, the more employable I become. Why limit myself? Can I work on Exchange? Yes. Do IT consultant work? Yes. Work with managed storage solutions? Absolutely... all those and more!
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:45 AM   #3
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I agree there will still be a requirement for a certain amount of administration, but that's administration, not messaging solutions or consultancy as such.

I think It would be fair to say as an example there was a point in time where web design and development was a gold mine where you had to know a lot and were able to charge a lot of money. You can now buy a domain name, design your website and host your emails for as little as £100 a year. All with very little technological knowledge.

I'm looking at this with a view of at the peak of my career earning £100k+. I love IT and technology, but at the end of the day I want to make sure my hard work pay's off and I achieve as much as I can.

Perhaps the question should have been rephrased to something such as - if you were looking at making maximum personal financial gain with a career in the IT industry in the longer term, at this point in time where would you target yourself? 10 years from now for instance.

I mean can you really see Microsoft releasing Exchange 2019, in a similar on premise way they do now?
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #4
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I agree there will still be a requirement for a certain amount of administration, but that's administration, not messaging solutions or consultancy as such.
You're not getting what I'm saying. Administration is administration, Peter. Doesn't matter whether I'm an in-house admin pressing the right buttons in Exchange whether I'm an employee of the cloud-based company pressing the right buttons in a cloud-based messaging solution.

Said more clearly: if the prediction you speak of is true, and 50% of mail users will be hosted, someone is going to have to administer the hosted boxes. Net result: fewer messaging admins at the individual companies, more messaging admins at the cloud-based companies; no loss of technical jobs.

Speaking as something who has experienced IT trends since the early 80s and has worked in IT since the late 90s, this is something you need not worry about. This wouldn't be the first time someone has said, "OMG the technical jobs they are dyyyyingggggg due to an increase in technology!!!11!1one!"

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Originally Posted by PeterH1988 View Post
I think It would be fair to say as an example there was a point in time where web design and development was a gold mine where you had to know a lot and were able to charge a lot of money. You can now buy a domain name, design your website and host your emails for as little as £100 a year. All with very little technological knowledge.
To be fair, web design isn't very technical, so it was no surprise when cookie-cutter solutions were created. But if a company wants something complex or unique... they're still going to have to hire someone to do Web work.

Those folks who were doing Web design who were more technical and decided to adapt generally became Web developers. And this is how things work in IT - automation and solutions may make some jobs irrelevant, but the automation processes and solutions usually spawn new jobs that people adapt into. So your example falls neatly under what I'm trying to describe to you.

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Originally Posted by PeterH1988 View Post
I'm looking at this with a view of at the peak of my career earning £100k+. I love IT and technology, but at the end of the day I want to make sure my hard work pay's off and I achieve as much as I can.

Perhaps the question should have been rephrased to something such as - if you were looking at making maximum personal financial gain with a career in the IT industry in the longer term, at this point in time where would you target yourself? 10 years from now for instance.
If I was looking at doing well in IT, I'd do what I've done for the past 16 years: focus on increasing my skills so that I can provide value to as many prospective employers as possible. I wouldn't target myself in one particular niche, as that would defeat my goal of keeping my prospective employer pool wide. But if you're dead-set on specializing, target something you will enjoy doing. Those who do what they enjoy do far better than those who do a job simply because they are chasing the Almighty Dollar.

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Originally Posted by PeterH1988 View Post
I mean can you really see Microsoft releasing Exchange 2019, in a similar on premise way they do now?
Yes, yes I can... particularly if Microsoft wants to sell a solution to companies who DON'T want their messaging handled by a third-party company... particularly companies who handle confidential information.

Further, why would I pay a company to host my messaging (or any other service, for that matter) if I can do it myself for cheaper?

Mind you, I don't need these questions answered... I merely pose them for you to consider.
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