Let’s face it folks! Cloud Computing is still growing and it remains largely misunderstood by a large segment of the consumer population. This is not to say that many aren’t taking advantage of cloud computing in some form or fashion (often times, unknowingly), only that people seem generally confused as to how it’s different from more traditional IT infrastructure models.
Of course, those who are working within IT-related / dependent fields should have no problem identifying the finer points of how cloud computing works, or even what it seeks to change. If that is the case then a little cloud computing training and / or certification should definitely be on this year’s list of “to-dos”.
But just because most IT professionals are more knowledgeable about cloud computing doesn’t necessarily imply that they have its best “potential application(s)” in mind. For example, in the near future, there will likely be a big push toward monetizing cloud computing service(s) by means of marketing them to the average person. Though it’s impossible to tell at this point what direction this trend might take, it’s probably safe to assume that it might build upon what’s currently in place. Meaning, perhaps cloud computing services will be sold / packaged by ISP’s or tech firms, and individual companies might begin leveraging individual cloud components and delivering them in an App-like format?
Whatever happens, the bottom line is that IT personnel need to begin familiarizing (or re-familiarizing) themselves with the finer points of cloud computing and perhaps even elect for some form of certification also. Certification might very well be one of the primary indicators that many future cloud-centric employers will want their potentials to have a strong background in (wouldn’t harm current job security either).
Alright, so we’ve established that cloud computing is likely to play a very important (if not central) role in the future of computing and networking, but how does this relate to ITIL?
ITIL is recognized as the primary reference for IT professionals regarding the establishment, operation, management, modification, and various methodologies concerning IT infrastructure. In other words, when you have a problem with Infrastructure or need to see what the best methods are for achieving something, you go to the ITIL for assistance. However, ITIL is also part of a generalized certification that professionals can attain, which not only boosts the look of a resume’, but also prepares one for the many real-world challenges that they are likely to face.
Cloud computing is going to continue to create challenges for IT professionals until it has been fully explored and charted (and even then, breakthroughs can occur which might very well rewrite the rulebooks yet again). The point is, IT workers need a solid foundation of fundamentals in terms of general infrastructure-related problem solving, in addition to some form of uniting body of knowledge. This is of course where ITIL comes into play. ITIL has been shown to increase the effectiveness of a cloud transition while at the same time virtually eliminating mishaps (or at the very least, minimizing downtime). Those organizations which had the insight to initiate an “ITIL protocol before attempting a cloud transition generally fare much better than those who don’t. This is merely a testament to the organizational nature of ITIL itself, and how it imbues those who study it with a better understanding of various solutions / methodologies, including how they pertain to the IT service lifecycle itself.
But aside from current uses for ITIL (in various cloud environments), it should be noted that the group responsible for publishing ITIL is working toward a definitive version designed specifically for cloud computing, as well. However, the thoroughness and breadth of such a methodology tome is limited to our current collective understanding and implementation of cloud computing.
In other words, we simply haven’t developed cloud computing enough, or to the extent that it can / should be, as of yet. This is obviously changing, and at a more rapid pace than many have expected. Not only are businesses, governmental organizations, and academic institutions embracing cloud computing, but the general population is as well, mostly in the form of email or entertainment and media-related delivery / storage systems. Behind the scenes however, there still has to be some form of systematic organization present, especially concerning the management of software and various hardware components; this is of course where ITIL comes into play.
The best and safest bet for forward-thinking IT professionals is to simply attain certification in both ITIL as well as cloud computing.
Regardless of the future of cloud computing, ITIL training and certification is an extremely valuable asset for virtually any serious IT worker. Why? Because ITIL is akin to a compendium of all the wisdom, research, and tireless work of brilliant and determined individuals regarding IT infrastructure, that’s why.
While it’s a given that we don’t really know what the future holds for cloud computing, it’s still an area of IT / computing / networking knowledge that must be explored, simply because big institutions are embracing it (and they need IT employees who understand it). However, it has been argued by some very esteemed individuals that cloud computing is going to take the world by storm. Either way, you have nothing to lose by devoting yourself to a cloud computing training / certification program.