Dearth of Cloud Computing Skills Finally Being Addressed
The explosion of cloud computing over the past few years has brought a true revolution to the world of IT, especially for businesses that previously lacked the resources to take advantage of the latest trends in computing. However, this explosion has left the world of technology with relatively few people who possess the ability to correctly deploy and troubleshoot cloud solutions. This burgeoning skills gap is finally getting the attention it deserves, and some companies, like Microsoft, are already taking action.
While not truly catching the industry by surprise, the cloud has still had some growing pains over the past few years. The ability to quickly deploy an IT solution at a reduced cost in an environment that was technologically advanced, instantly expandable, and disaster resistant caught on among small and midsized businesses. The cloud leveled the playing field a bit by allowing smaller companies access to technology and solutions that would have otherwise been far beyond their reach.
This explosive growth has not been without its issues, like data security problems and hidden costs, but now a new barrier seems to be coming into the spotlight, the cloud computing skills gap. Older-style systems still have plenty of people with enough experience to deploy and run them, but when it comes to a new technology like cloud computing, all that experience goes to waste as a new set of systems and tools arrive and need to be mastered.
As detailed in this IT World article, even when companies purchase a cloud solution from a major company like Microsoft, cloud support and expertise can be lacking. With IT budgets set to skyrocket over the next few years, businesses are in the precarious position of either not having enough of the right type of support or overpaying for people with cloud-based experience. Many IT managers are choosing to hire people with related technology experience and have them learn the cloud as they progress in their work, a practice that will certainly cause its share of headaches.
Microsoft and Cloud Computing Skills
As the IT industry begins to recognize the gap between the required knowledge base and the available knowledge of the cloud, some companies are starting to find solutions. One large example is Microsoft, which recently announced that its certification programs would undergo a change to address the evolving face of technology.
As noted in this ZDNet article, the new certifications, most of which still retain their old acronyms, will now include sections on cloud computing. These changes were made specifically to address the growth of the cloud and to ensure that these certifications meet real-world expectations. People who achieve the qualification will also now have to re-certify every so often, to reflect the changing face of technology.
The new certification is just one step and the work of just one company, but it is part of a wider industry movement to get more IT professionals ready for the inevitability of working with cloud computing solutions. For businesses looking to expand into the cloud today, the shortage of qualified professionals will be something to consider. But in a few years, the issue might resolve itself. Training and qualification programs will catch up to the real world, along with the accepted fact that any IT training that doesn't include cloud solutions will soon be a waste of time.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.