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Cloud computing opens new doors for IT professionals

Cloud Computing promises new career opportunities for IT professionals. In many cases, existing core skill sets transfer directly to cloud technologies. In other instances, IT pros need to develop new skill sets that meet the demand of emerging cloud job roles.  Companies that consider moving to cloud computing will want to educate their IT professionals about the potential opportunities ahead so that they can build staff capabilities and skills ahead of the change.

Many IT professionals feel as though the Cloud will take away key job roles and applications.  This is incorrect.  The bulk of an IT professional’s skills remain relevant in a cloud environment.  System configuration tasks such as creating routing rules, configuring archiving, and managing policies are still necessary.  The change is moving from building and supporting local IT infrastructure to managing IT services in the cloud, which requires, an extension of skills and capabilities.  This means employers will be looking for IT professionals with these types of skills.

One way IT professionals become more essential in the cloud era has to do with their ability to implement public cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure.

As I mentioned before, instead of decreasing an IT professional’s role, the move to cloud solutions opens up many new opportunities.  Key technical skill sets become more critical to career success, including custom application development and deep technical knowledge of the various collaboration products such as Exchange Server.

Tasks that remain include monitoring, configuration, and integration with existing on-premise services such as Active Directory, while activities such as purchasing hardware, installing operating systems and managing patches are no longer needed since they are handled by the cloud provider.

Once IT professionals learn more about the cloud and they see there’s a big change that will help them in the future, it will become clear to them that they will have a job that is more challenging than just being an administrator.

Developers will have to focus on innovation, integration, and rapid delivery on business requirements. They also will find more design opportunities beyond what they currently manage.

IT security will be prevalent as ever.  Cloud solutions have new security implications for consideration. Organizations in different industries have divergent requirements regarding privacy and data retention. This means that the solution selected by an organization or an enterprise must be carefully evaluated to ensure that the selected services allow the organization to remain in compliance.

Below are the three types of cloud services companies will be migrating to in the near future.

  • A private cloud is a set of standardized computing resources that is dedicated to an organization, usually on-premises in the organization’s datacenter. It works with the current capital investment and delivers the new functions as a service.
  • A hosted private cloud has a dedicated infrastructure hosted by a third party, inaccessible to other organizations.
  • A public cloud consists of computing resources hosted externally but shared with other organizations and dynamically provisioned and billed on a utility basis — the customer will pay for what is used as they use it.

The IT industry will continue to evolve, just as it always has.  The more understanding that companies and IT professionals have of these new technologies will help secure their futures.

-Matt