Cloud computing is more than a buzz term you hear about the future of technology. It's already making a huge impact in the IT field by changing the nature of existing jobs and creating many new ones.
While the fundamental nature of storing data on the Internet seems basic enough, there are many layers to cloud computing that make it deeper and more complex than what appears at first glance.
First, let's identify the three types of cloud computing: (1) private cloud, which is stored behind a company's firewall; (2) public cloud, which anyone can use (think: Google Drive); and (3) hybrid cloud, which blends private and public clouds into one infrastructure.
All three have relevance in business. According to KPMG's 2014 Global Cloud Survey, a majority of companies are already using a cloud server in some way and are now planning how to best shift more company functions into the cloud space. The reasons are that cloud servers save money, offer unlimited storage space, and are environmentally friendly because they do not require the hardware infrastructure of traditional servers.
What employment opportunities does this new frontier of technology offer?
Simply put, it's important to plan ahead. Here are four areas in cloud computing to consider when figuring out the next steps in your career:
1. Strategy. As automation makes some IT jobs obsolete, it is crucial to train yourself to think and act like a decision-making executive. Look ahead to future developments in the cloud space and how companies can take advantage of cloud computing in the years ahead. Having a strong, detailed vision of how cloud computing will impact business could help create career opportunities.
2. Implementation and Integration. Getting companies set up for cloud computing requires a certain level of expertise in platforms such as Amazon EC2, Puppet Enterprise, and Microsoft Azure. Learning Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) design is also important, as is having a strong command of service-level agreement (SLA) and chargeback design. Being flexible with the different hypervisors-both Type 1 and Type 2-that run virtual machines is also crucial.
Businesses must figure out how to transfer their existing data to the cloud while developing processes and procedures for data storage and security. Each company must also establish a policy and plan of action for future cloud computing and build it into their infrastructure. This requires a dedicated team of IT professionals who understand the culture of the company, nuances of programming, data migration, and the company's cloud computing objectives.
3. Security. From loss of crucial data to access of private information, an attack by cybercriminals or an unexpected glitch in the system can spell disaster for a company. Well-rounded cloud security professionals could be in demand for the foreseeable future, according to Forbes. Knowledge of Linux and high-level programming languages such as C++ and Java is a must, but familiarity with new cloud-specific languages such as Google Go is also important. Career advancement in this area also is contingent on knowing one's way around AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and patented SSE technology.
4. Data Analysis. "Big data" is another buzz phrase used by industry professionals to explain the analytics derived from detailed performance-related statistics directly tied to cloud computing. Big data analytics can transform nearly any industry, from sports to medicine to small business, by providing insight on how employees perform and offering specific details about customer satisfaction and product effectiveness. Learning how to organize, evaluate, and present cloud data could offer potential career opportunities.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are not attributable to Kaplan University. Any reference to a product or service does not constitute an endorsement by Kaplan University. Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
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