A few years back, I was Programme manager for a service offering from IBM that enabled mainframe system programmers to be much more productive. We took all those nasty little bits and bytes of the various software products that made up and MVS system, and packaged them to order.
It meant that they could install a new version / upgrade existing systems in a few hours. Sysprogs thought that we were doing them out of a job. They could not have been more wrong.
By releasing them from the drudge ( OK, they thought it was fun, and their value-add to the business ) they could focus on the companies real business needs. By reducing their efforts required to upgrade and maintain, we were setting them free to do interesting things that their bosses would see real value from : new applications, better interfaces, more responsive systems, better networks. Endless lists of things that they never really got round to before.
This is what Clouds will do. There are some that say the Cloud will remove the need for what they do : but if the past is anything to go by, they will be freed from the old tyrannies of maintenance and midnight calls. They will be able to show real ROI for what they do.
In the days of IT departments becoming revenue centres rather than cost centres, this has to be a good thing.