The Top 10 IT Skills That Are Being Outmoded!

1. Email

How one communicates in the office is changing as the commonly accepted business communications models have evolved. The use of email as a form of corporate communication will diminish, perhaps quicker than it rose in use.  Webbased communicat9ons are taking its place.

2. Computer Hardware Support

There was a time when user support meant fixing a desktop or assisting with an operating system problem or application issue. The environment has changed; now computer and application support is not so straight forward. The rise of tablets and the cloud will make many hardware-based skills outdated. Virtualization will have a dramatic impact as corporations can consolidate several server roles onto a single server.

The increased popularity and use of tablets will also have a negative impact on hardware support personnel.  There is little to no hardware support for these devices. Gone are the days when we repaired our own computer systems. At most, we replace components, and that is about it.


COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages, having been around for 50 years. In fact, a select group of IT pros may have had the opportunity to start and finish their careers having worked with just one language – a rare feat indeed! Though the demise of COBOL has been proclaimed for 20 years, it still remains in use in some corporations.  As new applications are written in other languages, the programs that were written in COBOL and the people who support these older apps will find themselves needing a new skill set.

4. Adobe Flash Mobile

Adobe announced in November 2011 that they will not continue development of Flash Mobile and that Flash Player 11.1 would be the last version for mobile devices. For developers, this means that, much like the demise of Silverlight, it is time to migrate to HTML 5

5. Windows 2000 and before

If the operating system in question is almost old enough to go to a PG13 movie without an adult, it might be time to upgrade. This holds true for those who support these older systems. You cannot continue to promote yourself as an NT4 guru (or for that matter, Novell – seen a Master CNE lately?). There is a large learning curve from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have not begun the process, you had better start soon.

6. Traditional Telephony

The telephony world has gone through tremendous changes. For decades, we were used to having a phone on our desk, and sometimes more than one! The people who supported these PBX systems were in demand. Are PBX systems going the way of Betamax? They will be replaced as new technologies provide for more than just a phone on a desk.

The underlying principles of telephony haven’t changed; rather, it is how the systems are implemented. Users are mobile, the traditional office environment has changed, and users are now accustomed to communicating while on the road, in an airport, on a train, or at home. Microsoft’s Lync Server 2010 is changing how we look at presence, voice, IM, and conferencing. The days of having a physical phone and the techs to support them are numbered. The PSTN (public switched telephone network or, as some refer to it, POTS – plain old telephone service) networks will gradually be replaced. There are an increasing number of people and even families, who do not have a landline – they use their cell phones instead.

7. Networking

The networking world is changing to meet the challenges of new technologies and requirements. This also means that once commonly used network skills are on their way out as well. One example is subnetting with IPv4. Can you look at an IP address with a /21 notation and determine the number of subnets and addresses for each one? (32 Subnets, 2048 addresses.) IPv6 will make this once-vaunted skill obsolete – once IPv6 is adopted (much like the paperless office – it is “coming soon”), knowing how to subnet will be a dead and gone skill. Even now, many network administrators don’t know how to subnet.

8. Silverlight

While not dead yet, it seems as if Silverlight 5 is possibly the last version released by Microsoft. Support will continue for some years, but there won’t be a Silverlight 6. All of you developers out there need to start ramping up with HTML 5.

9. Software and Network support

Remember when you called tech support and someone came around to help, or when you had a desktop computer that ran all of your software instead. The introduction of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will have an enormous impact on desktop support. Now updates to software can be centrally applied, support can be managed by fewer personnel, and older equipment will be retained longer – but, again, with fewer personnel. Wireless is also having an impact on network support. There will be fewer cabling requirements for entire offices.

10. ColdFusion

Users of ColdFusion used to rave about how easy this Web programming language was to use and quickly you could start using it. That may have been true, but it is hard for it compete with so many newer, easier and more advanced products. ColdFusion was originally released in 1995 Today, it is superseded by Microsoft .NET, Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails, to name but a few. Web developers basing their careers on this language should start looking at modernizing their skill set.

Get the Whole story:  Click here for the complete Global Knowledge article!


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