What do IT professionals need to know about cloud computing?
A great deal of effort has been put forth in recent months and years toward educating businesses about cloud computing and familiarizing with them with the benefits it can offer them. Certainly no one would argue that businesses should be turning their attention and focus toward cloud computing, but what most people seem to forget about is IT. Specifically, the various IT departments which are attached to these businesses and organizations seeking to adopt cloud computing infrastructure and/or technologies. The question is, what do these IT professionals (who are employed by the businesses which are adopting cloud computing) need to know in order to remain relevant or valuable?
Cloud Computing is the future
There’s simply no question about it, cloud computing is going to be a major facet of all IT in the coming years. This is evidenced by the overwhelming numbers of governments, universities, corporations, small businesses and individuals that have either fully or partially adopted cloud-based infrastructure or technologies. A short while ago it seemed to many that cloud computing would merely be a competitor to traditional IT models, but now it’s clearly apparent that its poised to replace the current standard type of infrastructure entirely. In fact, one of the big concerns for this year (2012) is that we might actually see cloud adoption rise above the 50% mark. In other words, very soon we might see more people utilizing cloud infrastructure than not.
Why are businesses, organizations and individuals so eager to adopt cloud computing?
In terms of tangible benefits, cloud computing can offer reduced energy consumption costs, targeted processing power delivery, secure backups through colocation of data, and the ability to quickly package and deploy multiple apps and processes (among other things). Simply put, cloud computing is a platform whereby more secure, stable and creative solutions for problems and specific needs can be addressed.
The truth is, virtually any kind of app, program or software can be repackaged in the cloud (used as part of a “silo”-based process comprising other apps and programs). These “services” or “packages” in turn, can be rapidly copied and used by additional users across the cloud. In other words, there’s no need for tedious upgrading procedures to be performed on hundreds of individual systems; through virtualization, IT can create copies of or grant access to useful processes and simply apply them to the accounts of individual users.
Security in the cloud has also been directly addressed in recent times and it’s clear that cloud computing is definitely moving toward becoming the most secure form of infrastructure available. While it’s true that some organizations might be engaging cloud computing in order to stay up-to-date with their competitors, it’s highly unlikely that this is the only reason for the dramatic rise in adoption rates. Arguably, the main reason that most businesses are jumping at the chance to adopt cloud computing is that it offers a great deal of value in terms of a cost to profit ratio.
So, what’s the next logical step for the IT professionals who are interested in familiarizing themselves with the intricacies of cloud computing?
Given that traditional IT is starting to look a little bit like a sinking ship, it’s only sensible that IT professionals who are concerned with their careers need to begin seeking out additional professional development in the area of cloud computing. This can be achieved in a number of different ways, but perhaps the best approach is that of e-learning (through the internet). A dedicated provider of cloud computing training and certification materials will be able to (not only provide you with adequate training for cert tests, but also) prepare you for a transitioning IT career field.
E-learning is the preferred method of study in any number of cloud computing disciplines because it:
- Is much more affordable than courses offered at universities
- Provides the same benefits of certification as any other training / educational method in the end
- Allows you to study on your own time, in your own way, and wherever is most convenient for you
- Won’t interfere with a busy work schedule
- Is extremely comprehensive and will cover many areas of interest
- Features courses and materials designed by reputable cloud computing gurus
It’s really about long-term career security and increasing potential opportunities
As previously mentioned, it is very likely that cloud computing is going to usurp traditional IT at some point in the very near future, if you are employed primarily as a specialist in this area, you absolutely must have a personal “upgrade” plan in place. After the cloud adoption rate eclipses the 50% mark it is entirely foreseeable that it will speed up until virtually everyone is using and reliant on cloud computing. For those that prepare themselves for this transition, the mass cloud adoption will be a great opportunity to showcase your talents and even land a higher paying career. Those that procrastinate or try to rail against this movement however are going to be met with extreme disappointment. The bottom line is that all IT professionals need to strongly consider the various short and long-term benefits of attaining their cloud computing certification, ASAP.