Companies have been undergoing fundamental transformation over the last few years, in a bid to move to a more cloud-based environment. From contact center software to cloud video conferencing tools, businesses are beginning to see the benefits of cloud computing technology.
Gartner forecasts that the cloud services industry will grow exponentially through 2022 – and that the worldwide public cloud market will grow to $214.3 million. Gartner’s vice president states that:
“At Gartner we know of no vendor or service provider today whose business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies”.
With new technology, comes the need for new expertise. Companies are continually on the lookout for employees with the right cloud-based skills. They’re prioritizing applicants who are ready to take the reins and tackle the technical challenges that lie ahead. And so can make their transition to the cloud complete.
From vendors providing omnichannel retail software to companies seeking simpler cloud-based solutions, all types of employers are seeking good IT staff and leaders. Without their help they won’t be able to make the most of their investments in the public, private, and hybrid cloud.
A career in cloud-based technology involves more than simply having great IT skills. It requires sound business acumen and expertise in many other areas, including metrics and analysis. In this post we’ll outline the key tech-oriented cloud competencies that can guarantee your CV stands out from the crowd.
1. In-depth knowledge of cloud technologies and platforms
Cloud-based hirers will undoubtedly require potential employees to have knowledge of at least one of the big cloud platforms. Whether that’s Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. Specialist expertise in one platform may suffice for some jobs, but multi-platform experience adds an element of versatility employers will like.
Containerization is a sought after skill
Containerization is another increasingly sought after area of expertise. Containerization has become a leading trend in software development as an alternative – or add on – to virtualization. It involves packing up software code and it’s dependencies, and preparing it to run on different types of infrastructure.
The ability to understand and apply containerization is essential for any cloud developer, to ensure they can build and run applications in the cloud. The leading platforms in this area are Docker and Kubernetes, but there are many up and coming alternatives.
Automation software is a category gaining traction in cloud computing environments too. These open source configuration tools are becoming essential for enabling security and compliance, as well as automating application delivery.
From Puppet, Ansible, and Chef to many others, as adoption rates of these technologies increase so does demand for the skilled people who can operate them.
2. Ability to work within an integrated and multi-cloud environment
The cloud is a term that’s often used to describe anything and everything that’s delivered online. From Software-as-a-Service (Saas) apps to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), this terminology reflects a trend: That of companies increasingly having to manage a dynamic mix of cloud services, vendors, and types of cloud (public, private, or hybrid).
Cloud professionals who are adept at managing a wide range of apps (for example, those dedicated to improving customer support in multi-cloud environments) are highly sought after.
Data integration across applications, including data from various platforms and vendors (or held in numerous data centers), is commonplace in the cloud. And to make things even more complex, cloud systems often have to communicate with legacy systems.
Companies are seeking cloud architects and experts who see integration as a part of their job. They want to hire someone who sees integration as a fundamental step. An employee who – like a housebuilder – knows he or she needs to put the wiring and plumbing in, before installing the walls.
3. Industry and vendor cloud certifications
Most employers expect to see relevant industry and vendor certifications on an IT resume. And this applies to the cloud. Amazon and Microsoft run their own training programs leading to a certificate in AWS and Azure respectively. And Google offers a training course that leads to a Google Cloud Certified qualification.
There are also many third party certifications that employers will take note of. For example CompTIA offers the Cloud+certification. Other industry associations offering such certifications include Firebrand, CIO, and TomsIT Pro.
While employers like to see these kinds of qualifications on a CV it’s important to note that they don’t guarantee career success.
4. DevOps is increasingly valuable on an IT CV
Because the cloud environment is constantly changing, traditional ways of doing things are becoming obsolete. DevOps is becoming a hot commodity in the cloud computing jobs market – so having this skill on a CV will attract an employer’s attention.
DevOps goes hand in hand with the cloud and is a valuable skill that’s increasingly in demand by employers. It originated from agile software development, and gives companies the ability to adapt and modernize their strategies and processes.
It’s a skill base that’s underpinned by continuous planning, testing, and integration of projects and softwares, so that they are inherently adaptable. It promotes and empowers teams to work together to solve problems.
DevOps is a skill set that’s becoming increasingly sought after even in longstanding IT roles, like systems administrators and engineers. This is a trend that indicates the switch from task-based roles to more strategic based roles.
DevOps is designed to bring new techniques, tools, and processes to the table so developers and IT experts can work more closely together. Skills employers will be looking out for on a CV include ‘unit testing’ and ‘chaos engineering’.
Employers are asking software engineers to become more accountable for the code they write. They’re looking for engineers who can take ‘on-call’ responsibilities and respond in real-time to alerts relating to the software they’re building. Cloud pros will also benefit from knowing a variety of programming methodologies from Agile and Lean, to frameworks including Kanban and Scrum.
DevOps is enabling companies to make faster changes and improve visibility across all applications and infrastructure. Continuous improvement is at the heart DevOps. With DevOps experts considered some of the most talented IT professionals, they can expect to earn in the region of $100,000 per year or more.
5. Good management and communication skills
As well as good technical skills, cloud computing requires that staff have a wide range of business skills. Companies are quick to hire people they see as good at both communicating and negotiating. The ability to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders (e.g. departments and vendors) is critical.
Dealing with internal employees
In this new era of cloud computing, the lockdown approach of IT (an ‘us-versus-them scenario) no longer applies. Now it’s a case of leading rather than policing – and encouraging staff to make better choices.
Employers are looking for people who can lead from the front. They must have IT expertise along with a personality that fosters enthusiasm rather than acceptance.
Companies moving away from a traditional approach to IT, value leadership qualities across all aspects of cloud implementation and management, including:
- Driving the build of the cloud
- Determining the right cloud architecture for an organization
- Understanding opportunity cost. I.e., how much money can be saved by improving app performance management. For example, ensuring an employee time clock app is operating at optimum efficiency
Cloud IT professionals should act as a critical resource for strategic decision making across a wide range of platforms and technologies. Successful cloud leaders must have the ability to demonstrate they can plan for the long term.
Dealing with external vendors
Externally, it’s essential to have a sound understanding of how the cloud-first environment works. This includes knowing how to keep up with the demands of the vendor landscape. Future employees will preferably have industry-related cloud solutions knowledge.
For example organizations that are customer focused may specify that they require candidates to have a working knowledge of their customer engagement platform. This is a type of cloud based software that gives companies a complete view of their customers – and provides a place to manage every digital interaction so as to build better relationships.
Security concerns are also a big priority. So, being able to manage these is seen as a plus point, as is having the right skills to set new paradigms for securing data and apps online.
Other business skills employers are looking for include the ability to embrace the many financial considerations of cloud computing. They will expect employees to understand, for example, the terms Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and Return on Investment (ROI), as they apply to subscribing to a cloud-based service.
Calculating the cost implications of moving to a cloud-based environment is highly challenging. That’s because it includes both technical and financial considerations. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach – projections must be tailored specifically to individual business scenarios. To be a good fit for a job in cloud computing, candidates must be able to see the big picture.
Having a realistic and transparent approach to working with costs and other financial implications is considered a big asset to an employer.
The ability to translate financial awareness into achieving the best deals with vendors is increasingly seen as an invaluable trait by employers. Candidates with advanced negotiation skills will attract the attention of prospective employers.
6. Measurement and analysis
Employers in the field of cloud computing value candidates with demonstrable experience in metrics and analytics. This includes the ability to extract useful insights from often vast amounts of data. Employees will be tasked with providing accurate estimates, when it comes to cloud resources – something that is necessary in any case to measure ROIs.
Application performance is another important aspect when it comes to analytics. That encompasses everything from granular software analytics to monitoring the performance of applications. An ability to use these skills pre, during, and post cloud migration is essential.
It’s also important that a candidate can understand that monitoring performance in the cloud is different to measuring performance in hybrid or onsite cloud environments.
Certain stakeholders will require different sets of metrics. Cloud professionals with experience in delivering custom analytics, tailored to the needs of multiple audiences, will stand out. Candidates that can demonstrate the ability to capture and turn data into useful insights via the use of various tools, e.g. New Relic, indicate that they can add value to an organization.
That’s because they can provide data that can help drive better business decisions.
This includes having the ability to persuade non-tech savvy stakeholders that unified communications is the way forward. For example, employers are looking for candidates that can set out a case for moving towards a cloud-based VoIP phone service, based on cost-analysis.
This analysis needs to take in various factors, including whether the company will need to scale the service, or if it’s planning on expanding or moving to a different location.
Cloud computing is a multi-billion dollar business. And as the cloud starts to dominate the business landscape, the number of jobs within cloud services environments is increasing year on year. It’s anticipated that cloud computing jobs will become the highest paying profession of the future.
Roles related to cloud computing include cloud infrastructure, cloud security, and cloud engineers. According to some reports, demand for these types of skills outpaces the number of qualified candidates.
Whether you’re seeking an internship at one of the big tech companies or looking to build on your existing expertise within a specific industry sector, what’s on your CV is key to your success. It will dictate whether you are chosen to get to the next important stage of the recruitment process.
To get the top jobs, it’s essential to be the full package. That means having extensive IT-related skills, and management expertise – as well as sound financial acumen. It’s also critical that your CV reflects all these skills and experience, to ensure it rises to the top of the pile.