Today is Sysadmin Day - the day of the year when, as the Sysadmin Day website has it, you can "thank your sysadmin and know he or she is only one of dozens or possibly hundreds whose work brings you the email from your aunt on the West Coast, the instant message from your son at college, the free phone call from the friend in Australia, and this webpage."

t's a nice sentiment: the sysadmin, the techie, the network guy, the IT man, the weirdo in the  basement - or however users refer to him, is often the unsung hero of the enterprise (or heroine, but let's not kid ourselves there are thousands of female sysadmins out there). Don't forget that it's not just about fixing computers and broken networks - the IT man is, almost by definition, the guy who will also rescue the photocopier, the phone and sometimes, even the drinks machine.

It got me thinking, what will the world be like when, if as predicted, large numbers of enterprises move to a cloud model. Yes, there will undoubtedly be improved performance in many instances, yes, there will be better software delivery, and yes, there will be many advantages of the cloud model.

But, who's going to be around to rescue a keyboard when coffee's spilt on it, when someone's pulled out a lead from their PC, when someone can't get a signal from their phone. It's perfectly correct to say that these are trivial problems that should be fixed by the user. It could be that in 10 years time, when IT departments have been abolished, every employee is a computer whizz. Or, maybe PCs have moved away from the traditional QWERTY keyboard design and have become more intutive - maybe we'll all be using iPads in 10 years time.

Who knows? I suspect that the traditional PC and the traditional IT department will be around for a lot longer than the cloud experts think. While I agree that companies who run their own IT-departments will at some stage be looked on in the same way as companies who insist on running their own electricity power stations, it will take a couple of decades for those changes to take effect - we can expect to live in the old world for quite some time yet.

So, the sysadmin, with his jeans, t-shirt and pocketful of gadgets will be around to benefit from Sysadmin Day for a few years to come.

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