One of the first questions that I get from a new client moving to the cloud is what organizational changes it will likely go through. Although clients want to adopt cloud computing as disruptive technology, they don’t want to disrupt their roles in the organization.

But you can’t really disrupt your technology without disrupting your work—and some of the people who do that work.

That disruption can take two forms: job change and job loss. People fear both, and they rightfully fear job loss. As a by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, 85 percent of the 5.6 million jobs lost in the United States from 2000 to 2010 were attributable to technological change, largely automation.

Although IT is not manufacturing, it shares a number of characteristics that mean cloud adoption will automate some IT jobs out of existence. Automation works economically because it takes people out of the routine tasks, reducing both labor costs and the variability in the results, which reduces overhead, errors, and downtime. As your datacenter shrinks, the staff that builds, maintains, and troubleshoots your datacenter network, servers, and applications aren’t needed. You also need fewer people to manage workloads, security, and vendor contracts.