How the Cloud is Transforming the IT Industry

Much of the discussion on the economic impact of cloud computing has focused on the cost savings and increased value for businesses, but the cloud is also impacting the IT industry, as new job roles are being created and the demand for other roles is decreasing. Many IT professionals may soon find themselves needing to transfer their skills and acquire new ones in order to be valuable in a cloud environment. Here’s a look at the impact the cloud is having on the job market and the skills IT professionals will need to develop.

High Demand for Cloud Skills

Research by Microsoft found that nearly two-thirds of enterprises are implementing or planning on implementing cloud computing. At the same time, IT managers are struggling to find the employees they need with the right experience and certification in the cloud. The demand for cloud-related skills is also projected to grow by 26 percent through 2015, making 7 million cloud-related jobs worldwide. This provides a great opportunity for current IT professionals or those considering going into the profession to differentiate themselves and get to the forefront of the cloud movement. Cloud skills that IT professionals should seek to gain include understanding the business value of cloud computing, a knowledge of successful adoption of cloud computing and an understanding of the risk and consequences of converting to the cloud.

Emerging and Continuing Roles

Thanks to cloud computing, there are several emerging as well as continuing roles that are transforming to meet the needs of cloud adoption.

1. Datacenter Manager

As companies shift to the cloud, there will still be a need for datacenter managers, but these managers will need to apply their skills in a host environment rather than within a particular company. These managers will need expertise in scripting, performance optimization and management applications.

2. Software Architect

The software architect acts as a link between the technical and business staff. They build complex distributed systems in the cloud, which requires an understanding of how to construct virtualized systems.

3. Security Specialist

Security is one of the biggest concerns of companies moving their data to the cloud. As such, the security specialist plays an important role in ensuring a secure move to the cloud. Naturally, the security specialist should stay up-to-date on the latest security technologies and privacy standards.

4. Cloud Computing Architect

The cloud computing architect focuses on the design and implementation of cloud solutions, as well as the migration to a cloud-based service. This employee often serves as a mentor to other team members for adopting best practices for the cloud.

5. Business Liaison

The professional in this role focuses on determining which architecture the company will use, such as whether to use a public or private cloud, and the options available in either an on-premise or off-premise solution. Options in this area abound from basic architectures to specialty storage such as flash storage or big data in the cloud. Thus, a sure understanding of the business needs of the company will be essential in this role.

Roles with Less Demand

While the cloud presents many exciting opportunities for IT professionals, it also means that there will be less demand for certain roles in the future. As mentioned above, there will be less need for inhouse database managers as that role is transferred over to the cloud providers. There will also be less need for in-house maintenance and support staff, as more of the hardware will be kept by the provider rather than the company.

Overall, the adoption of cloud computing is transforming the role of the IT professional in how he or she relates to a business, and in the individual roles he or she performs. For those able to adapt to the changes, it will result in new opportunities and a job market where their skills are in high demand.