Posted by Jonathan Crossfield on 24 September 2013
Network engineers and IT specialists regularly have to upskill and retrain to stay ahead of current trends and innovations.
Recently, cloud computing has risen to the top of the pile of desirable technical skills.
So how can you take advantage of this opportunity to drive your career further?
One in two businesses hiring cloud specialists in 2013
If you are new to the field of IT, 41 per cent of Australian business technology leaders recommend specialising in cloud computing, according to Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Technology Professionals. And it’s not hard to see why.
53 per cent of business leaders plan to hire additional IT staff in the next 12 months to support new or expanding cloud computing initiatives – almost evenly split between permanent employees and contractors.
With one in two businesses competing for professionals with specialist cloud computing skills, supply is going to struggle to meet demand. And this can put upward pressure on salaries for the right people.
The irresistible rise of cloud computing
The cloud has been with us for years. Yet more recently it has exploded in response to other trends facing almost every business. Mobile technology is partly to blame. The increase in mobile devices in the workplace has put increased pressure on businesses to supply an infrastructure capable of supplying ubiquitous access to data and documents across any device, while maintaining enterprise-grade security.
Another driver of cloud computing is the huge storage and processing demands of big data. We now generate approximately 5 exabytes of data every two days, according to IDC. This constantly expanding pool of data is not only a major storage challenge for businesses, but also to extract value from that data requires increasingly large amounts of processing power.
Computer animation studios like DreamWorks now use cloud computing to deliver the processing power needed to animate those blockbuster movies. Animating in the cloud means DreamWorks doesn’t need to invest in ridiculous amounts of hardware that will sit around idly for long periods of time between projects.
Other industries are also turning to cloud computing to bridge the gap in performance between traditional hardware infrastructures and future business requirements. Plus the imminent arrival of the NBN (in one form or another) will make cloud computing more practical by making it far easier and significantly faster to upload those mountains of data.
It’s a perfect storm of innovation, new business models, changing consumer expectations and a faster broadband infrastructure that has made cloud computing an essential requirement for any business wanting to retain a competitive advantage.
How to take advantage and boost your career
Naturally, cloud computing isn’t a job description in itself. So where should you focus your efforts?
The Robert Half Salary Guide reports that 55 per cent of business leaders are still uncertain about the specific skills and roles needed to drive their cloud computing initiatives. This is not very helpful for those looking to upskill in this area. However, the confusion is partly understandable when you consider the applications, challenges and opportunities of cloud computing will be very different from industry to industry. And even from business to business.
This opens the door for a new breed of technology professional: someone who not only has the virtualisation and cloud architecture skills, but also the business understanding to advise stakeholders, identify opportunities and find those specific answers – someone who is always looking ahead to how business technology will look five years from now, not clinging to old legacy systems.
Upskilling in cloud computing is about upskilling for the future. The skills will continue to change and evolve, as always. But those who continue to look forward and adapt to new trends before the competition will always stay one step ahead.
Looking for a job in cloud computing? Contact us and speak to one of our Technology Consultants today.