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How Certified Cloud Skills Are Accelerating the Careers of IT Professionals

Cloud is becoming an essential ingredient to a successful IT infrastructure. Recent research by IDC has identified how the growth of cloud as a computing platform has magnified the importance of cloud skills to the success of the enterprise.


Moreover, it is becoming clear that IT professionals with cloud skills are strongly influencing both the type of cloud infrastructure and the ultimate pace of adoption of cloud. This puts IT professionals with cloud skills in the driver's seat of their own career. In fact, IT professionals with certifications related to cloud development and operations have dramatically more influence over their organizations' adoption and expansion of cloud services than otherwise similar IT professionals have over the adoption of other types of technical solutions.




According to study, currently only 16% of worldwide organizations have in place the skills and processes needed to efficiently manage the evolving cloud environment. At the same time, well over two-thirds of all IT infrastructure and software will be consumed as cloud services within the next three years. Already, over 70% of IT firms identified themselves as having a "cloud-first IT strategy." Since the importance of cloud is growing, and talent cannot be easily hired, enterprises and IT professionals must focus on developing skills that will be important in the near future.


Recent researches have shown how the growth of cloud as a computing platform has magnified the importance of cloud skills to the success of the enterprise. for example, while IT employment worldwide grew, on average, by about 4% annually from 2016 to 2021, cloud-related positions grew at 13% annually. By 2022, a report envisaged, that 38% of IT positions will be cloud related since over 85% of enterprises will commit to multicloud or hybrid cloud architectures - a prediction which is well proving to be true.


A recent study done on more than 500 IT professionals, to understand the factors that impact "influence" within the IT organization, found that IT professionals with certifications related to cloud development and operations have dramatically more influence over their organizations' adoption and expansion of cloud services than IT professionals without relevant certifications.

  • IT professionals with more than two or more relevant certifications have 5.5 times more influence during initial deployment of cloud services than IT professionals without cloud-related certifications.

  • IT professionals with even one cloud certification are 35% more influential during cloud deployments than their counterparts are during deployments of other technologies.

Interestingly, this increase in influence appears to be related to not just the knowledge and the competence of the IT professional but also the validation and the recognition that come from the certification. We compared IT professionals who were highly proficient in an area with IT professionals who were proficient and certified.


Most Influential Skills for Cloud Professionals


Cloud impacts many roles, including user support and technical architecture. Some roles (e.g., architecture) require significant experience, and other roles (e.g., development and administration) are rapidly changing. While all proficiencies or skills are important, some proficiencies have a greater influence on the evaluation and direction of cloud adoption. There are specific proficiencies or skills that are more influential and are more consistently leveraged during cloud selection projects. We found that individuals with DevOps skills and identity management skills most consistently participated in cloud selection projects — either the initial selection of cloud providers or projects to expand the use of cloud within the enterprise. Individuals with these skills, DevOps and identity management, were most influential in the selection activities that involved recommending alternatives, generating internal buy-in for the solution, or the final authority to select or purchase the new service.

IT professionals with architecture skills also commonly participated and were influential in these same cloud selection activities, during the initial selection of cloud or the selection of a new provider.


Conclusion


Cloud will continue to be a highly disruptive force, reshaping datacenter and application architectures and transforming the way IT resources and applications are created, bought, and managed. IT professionals should recognize the opportunities created by cloud in its many shapes and forms. Staffing for cloud services will become a strategic driver for IT. Moreover, new skills and capabilities will be essential to effective IT development, deployment, and governance of cloud resources.


While all roles increase in influence with cloud-related certification, IT professionals who recognize the importance of cloud to their enterprise and position themselves at the intersection of the new technology trends and their business requirements have the greatest opportunity. IT professionals who have cloud certifications will have more influence in activities relevant during cloud deployment and expansion projects. With these skills and certifications, IT professionals can better help their organization take advantage of cloud technologies and techniques and can also accelerate their careers in IT.


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