Cloud Skills

18 Jan

The cloud has emerged. Visionary companies identified early on how they were going to exploit the power and agility that the cloud offered. Others have been more cautious in moving to the cloud. Both types (and all in between) are right; there is a lot to consider when moving services to the cloud. As the economic cases become clearer, as well as other issues (data security, identity management), more companies will be moving services into the cloud.

In addition to the economic and security cases, IT executives need to identify the skills their staff require to enable the success of the business when IT services are provided by the cloud. Dan Sullivan highlights a few of these in “The Evolution — Not Revolution — of IT Skills for The Cloud” (registration required).

Additionally, companies want to have strong skills in:

  • Vendor Management – development and enforcement of contracts and SLAs established with cloud vendors
  • Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity – clear, tested plans for restoring business services in the event of primary data center failure, and trained people to execute the plans
  • Release Management – Coordination of hardware and/or software releases within a company, and also considering business initiatives to reduce complexity of a release

Sending IT Services to the cloud does not mean everything will be seamless and smooth and always available (in the last 13 months, Amazon has had 5 service outages). Before moving out of a data center to the cloud, we need to think outside of our cubes about the impact of cloud-based data centers and develop the skill sets in our teams to ensure that when we do, we are able to support the business.

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