Choosing Cloud: The Virtual Jack-of-all-trades
April 25, 2013
Do you like to know a little bit about everything, rather than everything about one thing?
If that’s the case, you may just end up with an IT career on Cloud 9.
The Cloud sphere is radically changing the face of IT, and what it means for end-users in terms of efficiency and agility. Speaking from a career perspective, Cloud brings a significant challenge, and that’s because of the multidisciplinary requirements it’s placing on our technical staff.
As Director of Cloud Services with Long View, I can tell you that it demands a strong understanding of all the technologies required to build and operate the environment — Storage, Networking, Compute, Virtualization. At the same time, it also demands an in-depth knowledge of the software used to manage and maintain these environments.
In other words . . . Cloud really demands a virtual Jack-of-all-trades.
Cloud brings together several technologies, and removes the silos that have traditionally been involved in IT delivery. Essentially, these silos no longer exist. You can’t just be a Storage guy anymore. Or a Network guy. You work in integrated pods of teams — you’re sitting beside the Virtualization guy, and you have to understand each other’s worlds.
Here’s the analogy I like to use: My dad worked on the line at an auto-assembly plant for 40 years. As that line got automated, they were responsible for the automated equipment, as well as multiple tasks on that line. What’s happening in the IT world right now is very similar.
Some people out there believe that the Cloud model is so compelling, some businesses are making their final hardware purchases as they opt for a service model. Our own Robin Bell, Chief Technology Officer at Long View, says that because workloads, such as Microsoft Exchange, can exist in a virtualized environment which may not even be on a client’s premises, IT professionals need to get their heads around this concept — and possess the skills to troubleshoot those environments.
As career opportunities go? Cloud’s game-changing demands have also created the emergence of a new discipline called Automation — basically, creating scripts that allow you to build components like operating systems and storage automatically. It’s taking the workflow process and automating it, and creating massive efficiencies for things like provisioning and configuration. It’s a key area . . . and it’s a skill set we’re extremely interested in.
Besides the multitasking and the silo removal, here’s the straight goods on Cloud. Clients don’t really care about the capacity anymore. They just care about the functionality.
They tell us what they want to do, and our IT professionals — using a business-analytical skill set, understanding an organization’s requirements, and translating them into what the organization needs from the Cloud — make it happen.