The new generation of cloud-first IT is fundamentally different from the old world of on-premise. It’s cheaper, leaner, more flexible and far easier to implement – and it requires a new breed of support staff to keep everything running smoothly.

That’s the gist of Appirio CTO Glenn Weinstein’s recent article in Forbes (“Next-Generation IT: Why We Need a Cloud Middleman”). Weinstein’s right in that the public cloud requires a new way of thinking about IT management; fortunately for IT departments— even those versed in the world of on-premise software — cloud vendors can help IT adapt to the cloud, empowering them to lead their organizations through the transition. IT’s job has changed, but there will always be a need for experts who can manage enterprise public cloud applications.

The sea change toward the cloud in enterprise is undeniable. The center of gravity is certainly shifting to the cloud model — but it’s not doom and gloom for IT, as some fear. Application management in the public cloud requires a unique skill, and that’s where vendors — especially those built natively in the cloud — come into play. If you’re a business with public cloud apps, don’t be fooled by on-premise access management vendors that are now dabbling in the cloud. There’s too much inertia for these old world providers to effectively make the leap.

As Weinstein writes of on-premise middlemen, “It’s not realistic to expect the dinosaurs from the last era of computing to be capable of making such a dramatic change to their core identities.” He’s right, but IT departments that have long handled on-premise software aren’t old and in the way. They just need support from a vendor that’s built for the cloud and doesn’t have to fake its cred.