With cloud computing becoming a key part of enterprise IT strategy, we're starting to hear about a shortage of cloud-relevant skills.
We've often discussed the serious shortfall in qualified enterprise architects and data scientists, but according to an IDC report for Microsoft, cloud computing skills are at a premium, too. And it's a problem that's not easily tractable, says IDC:
Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven't been needed in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing.
It's estimated that some 1.7 million cloud-related vacancies couldn't be filled in 2012 because of a lack of qualified applicants. The demand is predicted to grow to 7 million vacancies worldwide by 2015.
When you have IT professionals unable to find work, it certainly sounds like re-training is needed. But, of course, it's not that easy. Because of the collaborative nature of cloud computing, IT specialists are being called on to emerge from their silos and broaden their skills sets.
Operations and development teams need to converge. In addition to writing code, cloud specialists need to display "softer skills" -- for example, the ability to engage in a dialog on business needs. In addition to technical expertise, IT pros who want to establish themselves as cloud specialists should have management and interpersonal skills, skills in process management, market understanding, and financial literacy.
For anyone used to spending forty hours a week pulling levers, that's quite a challenge.
Cloud computing is not just a disruptive force for the enterprise in general; it's also disruptive for IT departments, calling into question separation between functions, the adequacy of skills sets, and -- as much as mobile -- encouraging other departments to make an end run around IT by setting up DIY (or rogue) cloud deployments.
Opportunities in cloud computing are clearly going to be plentiful for IT pros with the savvy to expand their horizons and adapt their skills. Certificates are going to come in handy too: CompTIA's Cloud Essentials and the Cloud Security Alliance's narrower Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge are possible options.
— Kim Davis , Community Editor, Internet Evolution