IT pros: How to incorporate cloud skills into your career

Here are some tips for preparing to incorporate cloud technology into your career.

I've had a few emails from TechRepublic members asking how the cloud will impact IT careers. From what I'm hearing, we're not going to be seeing a lot of IT pros known as cloud specialists. Instead, you can expect IT pros who are already working for an enterprise to have to learn cloud skills in addition to their existing duties.

In other words, a company's technical architect with add a specialty to his or her title, as in "technical architect specializing in server virtualization or cloud computing. "

Other skills that will be important to the cloud specialist will be project management, delivery capabilities, and an understanding of project life cycles. And, of course, as I've emphasized so much in the past, an understanding of how tech impacts the business.

So what does one do to prepare for a specialization in the cloud? I asked Rick Vanover, our Servers and Storage blogger, to weigh in with some suggestions:

Know the technologies

There are a lot of cloud technologies in play, but what are the key elements. Cloud storage for data protection is very different than cloud storage from primary storage, such as a hybrid file server. Same goes for computer resources, database and full servers in the cloud.

Are cloud-based apps enough?

The SaaS model isn't new, it has just tried to fit into the cloud model. That's a proven success strategy.

Know when to pass on the cloud

Sometimes, and many times for typical organizations, there are just too many obstacles to embrace the cloud. Knowing these or knowing how to navigate these will equip someone well.

Private cloud

Much easier to absorb yet leverage technologies most of us already use. Whether it be virtualization or self-service portals, the tools are available to do many cloud functions on-prem. The real value to any organization will be to deliver a successful orchestration or dare I say governance model to these technologies. For example, technology exists today to let users create their own SharePoint servers or other business function applications. These tools won't protect inherently what data goes in here and how. This is where the administrator can ensure the workflow is correct.

Security and trust zones

Knowing the requirements of an organization and how to pair cloud technologies to specific needs will clear the path to cloud acceptance or have clear reasoning on why not to go to public cloud resources.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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