The Future of IT: Hybrid Jobs

These days, the word “hybrid” often conjures up images of environmentally friendly vehicles and ideas of energy efficiency. But the term also is becoming associated with another hot topic: the IT job market.

There seems to be an emerging trend of hybrid positions: fusions of IT with one or more distinct fields. The forces behind it range from business-strategy issues to the expansion of IT into realms previously unexplored.

To William Pulleyblank, vice president of IBM’s Center for Business Optimization, the blending of IT with other fields is a signal of the industry’s evolution.

“I think IT is maturing as an industry,” he said. “There used to be a lot of parts of IT that had to be done by skilled professionals working just around the IT stuff itself — think of managing databases or setting up communications capabilities. What we’re seeing as it becomes more mature is that more and more of that becomes automated and really goes into the infrastructure. Now the real opportunities come about some of the new things we can do with IT.”

Take, for example, the task of positioning snow plows to tackle winter storms, he said. With the advent of high-precision weather forecasting, IT brings a whole new dimension to that area.

“How do you position the crews when the snow starts coming in? That’s a problem which, at first glance, might have nothing to do with IT,” he said. “[But now] you put that into models to understand where you’re going to…


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