Tuesday, June 22, 2010

HP Slashes 9000 jobs - Blame the Cloud?

Today's hot question on ebizQ's Cloud Computing forum - Are the 9000 jobs lost from HP as it shifts its data centers to cloud computing a harbinger of widespread IT job losses due to the greater automation that cloud allows?

This question has a BIG assumption built into it - that all 9000 people laid off worked in HP data centers watching consoles, loading tapes, running/scheduling batch jobs, etc.

It is simply NOT true.

For example, HP at a single stroke halved their R&D people based in Bristol, UK and slashed its five remaining laboratories in Bristol (HP Labs) to two as well as closed all of its Japanese research.

Another example: HP is cutting 5,700 jobs in Europe with some 700 to go in the UK, with the primary focus on its manufacturing plant in Scotland where products have become increasingly commoditised and the sites are under-used. Given the current economic climate and continued pressure on costs it seems reasonable that manufacturing work is going to the Czech Republic.

The above examples of jobs lost (R&D and manufacturing) have nothing to do with Cloud Computing. It's just good, old fashioned business.

* Originally posted on the ebizQ Cloud Computing forum on June 22, 2010.

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