How Is Your Role Impacted by the Cloud Now, and in the Future?

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1 Emerging Technologies How Is Your Role Impacted by the Cloud Now, and in the Future? By Ian Moyse, Eurocloud UK Board Member & Governance Board Member of the Cloud Industry Forum

2 White Paper ITpreneurs is pleased to share with you a deeper knowledge of various frameworks and domains connecting their usage and application for the betterment of the IT profession. Our appreciation goes to the industry experts who generously share their invaluable knowledge and experience with us. 1

3 You can t have avoided the word cloud in recent years nor its predominance in all of our lives, both business and personal. Cloud computing is not only a game-changer for companies, but it is also changing the nature of jobs, both in information technology departments and in other departments as well. Cloud computing solutions will reduce the number of IT hardware jobs in the marketplace, increasing competition for new job seekers who lack cloud skills and expertise. A recent TEK Systems survey regarding the biggest IT Industry trends for 2013 revealed some interesting results in light of employment roles: IT professionals believe that cloud computing, security and mobility, respectively, will be in the Top 3 IT areas that will have the most impact on organizations in percent of IT professionals indicated concern about their ability to have a long-term career in IT. 15 percent say that the fast pace of the IT industry is the cause of their worry. 69 percent of IT professionals believe that demand for IT professionals will always outpace supply since technology is always evolving. 93 percent of IT professionals agreed that being successful in IT in the future will call for strong business skills, in addition to their IT skills. 93 percent of IT professionals agreed that being successful in IT in the future will call for strong business skills What does this tell us? That cloud is causing concern. It is imposing fast-paced change focusing skills on aligning business outcome to technological solutions that move away from the plug it together and break/fix needs of yesteryear and is inherently involved in all three of the Top 3 areas that have the most impact. Mobility and cloud are inherently linked and security of cloud is the biggest concern of businesses; giving need for expertise in selection and incorporation of cloud into a company s existing systems and infrastructure. Cloud is delivering industrialization to IT. Allowing far more to be done with less and more efficiently. Very much like the example of a cars that were once built manually, then being built with mechanical production lines allowing for mass production with less manpower and faster production time. Technology trends tend to last about 10 years. In the 1970s we saw centralized computing and terminals, the 1980s gave us Local Area Networks (LAN s), and the 1990s was the decade for internet usage with Wide Area Networks (WAN s). Finally, the 2000s delivered us to Web 2 and IP communications. The current decade is all about cloud computing, mobility and virtualisation. The question you need to ask yourself is, do you have the skills required for the next 10 years? Cloud is removing the traditional barriers faced by old school methods of IT delivery As an increasing number of businesses, large and small, move functions to the cloud, staffing and skill-set implications are becoming clearer. There is no question that individuals working in varying segments of IT, will need to learn new skills and knowledge. And that certain roles will shift in responsibility, some from the customer to the cloud service provider. Cloud is removing the traditional barriers faced by old-school methods of IT delivery. Pricing models, deployment, licensing, service level management and procurement are all adapting to a new world approach and many will need to widen their skill sets to play across a wider range of business activities. Education and knowledge are at the core of making good decisions. This is demonstrated in cloud computing, where there is a need to understand the impact on the business and employees, to evaluate and appraise the need for cloud (be it private or public), to compare cloud pragmatically, against non-cloud, and finally, to compare cloud vendors against others to ensure a smart choice for your business. 2

4 Cloud will impact job roles across your business. Whichever of these roles relate to you, please do not dismiss cloud systems as being irrelevant. If it has not affected or touched your current role, in your current business, to date, it will. Sticking your head in the sand and deferring taking part, will not serve you well. You may find decisions around you changing your status quo very quickly, and your lack of cloud knowledge and skills coming into question just as quickly. Are you prepared to compete with people who are not burdened with old ways of thinking and historic deployment models? The younger generation is focusing on new technologies. Hoping that your legacy and skills will carry you through the next decade, will not defend you against the onslaught of a new generation of technologists who are taking online, mobile systems for granted, and who are adapting and adopting rapidly to the new approach delivered by internet-based systems. The Cloud Essentials Course The Cloud Essentials course and the CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam is intended for a wide range of IT professionals who will see their process area affected by the implementation of cloud computing, including IT support staff, developers, consultants, process managers and IT managers. A recent Customer Study from Rise indicated that 94 percent of those in IT departments expect to expand their use of cloud in the next 12 months. Aligned with this, is a similar, recent report from Wanted Analytics indicating that hiring for cloud computing expertise showed a growth of 61 percent year-over-year. In a study from CA Technologies, 54 percent of the CIOs surveyed believed that cloud computing has enabled them to spend more time on business strategy and innovation. 71 percent of those who have adopted cloud computing also see their position with cloud as a viable path to pursue other management roles, compared to only 44 percent of non-cloud adopting CIOs. If you are in one of these key roles, consider how you might be impacted, what you might be expected to know in your role today, or for your role in general, or in the job market, in the near future. 54 percent of the CIOs polled believe that cloud computing enables them to spend more time on business strategy and innovation Cloud Essentials can form the foundation of your knowledge and help you become more valuable to your existing company, as well as furthering your market value and career for years to come. 3

5 IT Operations / Administrators Do you have the skills to manage cloud solutions, where more time will be spent on configuration, SLA management, provisioning and user assistance, than on break/fix, patching? Will you know how to bring up new virtualized services, how to switch services between cloud providers, commissioning and decommissioning where necessary? Operations personnel will need to be familiar with the nuances associated with the management of both physical and virtual resources. IT Line Managers Are you able to manage a mix of staff that look after on network and cloud solutions? To appraise where to allocate resources, when to utilize PaaS, IaaS, SaaS and Virtualization, without compromising on the delivery of the quality of service to your business and users? Can you lead your team with your own knowledge of cloud, and empower them to adapt to new form factors where their roles and responsibilities may be changing? You may also be called upon to contribute to the evaluation of new cloud solutions and providers. Are you able to approach this with the knowledge and understanding to make good business judgements and contribute to discussions and proposals? IT Auditor / IT Security Professional With security, the foremost concern in all cloud surveys is are you able to understand and appraise cloud solutions, to risk-analyze fairly and sensibly the pros and cons of a cloud offering? Do you know how to incorporate a cloud service, be it private or cloud into your existing security models, and have enough information and knowledge to sensibly engage during the evaluation of cloud providers to ask the right questions and appraise the answers? Security issues will become even more important when data and infrastructure are managed by a cloud provider rather than internally and understanding cloud will be an inherent requirement of an auditor/ security professional in order to effectively perform the role. IT Service Manager You will need to understand how to measure, monitor and appraise SLAs (Service Level Agreements), QOS (Quality of Service), and how these online services align with today s IT service management principals. Does cloud change the way you think about service management, does it align with ITIL? Do you need to change your approaches and your way of thinking? Does service and data accountability change? Without an understanding of cloud, managing service at the business layer will be a hit and miss affair. You will need to understand the fundamentals and approaches in order to map your service delivery expectations and actions appropriately. Channel Account Manager / Technology Sales If you are in a sales role, be it direct or channel, your customers/partners will expect you to understand the cloud, and to be able to explain the difference between cloud and on network solutions, the varying pros/cons, as well as handle objections around security, data sovereignty, SLAs and contractual terms. You may be asked about the revenue models by the channel, annuity vs up front billing, and be expected to explain cloud to their customers or staff. Are you able to explain cloud simply, with understanding and knowledge, and earn credibility and differentiation in front of your client or prospect? Cloud providers are clamoring to find partners and sales people who demonstrate a tenacity in selling cloud solutions, and you cannot do this, if you do not do so from a position of knowledge and understanding. IT Architect This is a role where you will need to understand how to architect the correct cloud solution for your business or for clients. You will need to know how to architect the appropriate mix of private/public cloud and virtualization of servers, and to scope the approach and scale required for now and future use. Do you have the skills and understanding to position cloud correctly and to ensure the strategic choice of platform, as well as to define a roadmap interacting at the CIO/CTO level with credibility? IT Project Managers There will be the need for a higher percentage of Project Managers within IT, because more systems can be implemented more quickly with less internal IT resources. An understanding of cloud as part of the project tool bag will be essential. The manner in which cloud computing projects are delivered requires a slightly different approach to project management. While the same elements exist, the sequence in which they are performed is changed, with the focus higher on some areas than in usual product-based projects; and additional risks will present themselves. If you have not thought about project management of a cloud solution in detail, you may not foresee what is required, and could manage the project in the traditional way until something falls apart. Increasingly, project requirements will detail prior cloud experience or knowledge as a pre-requisite. 4

6 Business Analysts In this role, you will need, and be expected, to demonstrate an understanding of the newer platform offerings, to be able to collate user requirements, business, legal and regulatory needs; and to be able to select and appraise cloud vendors and evaluate business process alignment with cloud functionality, while underpinning security, data and financial metrics. Are you equipped with enough knowledge to do this fairly and ensure a smart selection, without any contractual, functional or architectural loopholes? In a recent blog post, the CTO for EMC Corporation wrote, If you re an IT leader, you ve got an interesting challenge on your hands. You most likely don t have the right portfolio of end-state roles, skills and processes. And you are probably lacking people with the skills to lead the change from the present state to the future state. Ask Yourself, Could You Answer These Questions? If you cannot answer these with ease you need to learn more about cloud. Rapidly, these skills will continue to grow and come up in meetings, in job postings and in reviews and appraisals. New job seekers and up and coming employees will understand and know these things and take them for granted. Relying on the oldworld need and knowledge will, increasingly, not make the cut. Can you explain the difference between Private Cloud and Public Cloud? Can you explain (in simple terms) SaaS, PaaS, IaaS? Can you describe and position Virtualization? When comparing on network systems vs a cloud offering, can you identify all the comparative points to consider? Do you understand the terms data sovereignty and data liberation? Do you understand the responsibilities a business has for data stored in the cloud and what lies with the cloud provider? How do you determine if cloud is right for a business need? Do you know how to appraise a cloud provider s SLAs and service terms? Can you appraise a cloud provider s compliance and security provisions? What cloud workload profile do I have/need and what type of cloud solution do I need to satisfy this? According to IDC, Spending on public and private cloud services is predicted to generate almost 14 million jobs worldwide between 2011 and More than one-third of cloud-enabled jobs will occur in the communications and media, banking, and discrete manufacturing industries. Make sure that you are delivering value to your business needs and that your industry value increases, rather than plateaus or even decreases. Why Take the Cloud Essentials Training Certification is a critical step to advancing your career, as organizations look for qualified Cloud Technology professionals. It forms the first building block for any IT professional who is looking to become familiar with cloud concepts, and is an excellent segway into vendor-specific cloud training and certification programs. Certification provides relevant competences for IT professionals to work in a modern, innovative IT organization and will help you to advance your career in the cloud and virtualization domain. You will gain an understanding of the common terms and definitions of cloud computing and the characteristics of cloud and cloud services from a business perspective. The training will enable you to 5

7 understand the different types of cloud from a technical perspective, where to utilize them, the impact on organizations, and relevant compliance, risk and regulatory considerations to consider. Finally, you will be empowered to become a cloud advocate in your business. One with the knowledge to enable pragmatic and balanced decisions to be made, from an educated and informed standpoint. Contact Us for More Information ITpreneurs +1 (800) USA +31 (10) INT L 6

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