The cloud’s umbrella of titles and roles grows as industry takes world by storm

The cloud—a term that surfaced in IT circles in the late nineties—has taken the world by force. Gradually, companies in every industry are moving to the cloud with motives of saving money, scaling more easily and increasing efficiency. The immensely growing cloud promises many career opportunities to arise as the technology matures.

According to Forbes, it was measured in 2009 that revenue for cloud services was near $60 billion. By last year, it is estimated that revenue topped $2.6 trillion. In regard to cloud career possibilities, David Foote of Foote Partners, a Florida-based IT analysis and forecasting firm, said positions within cloud computing are so fresh and undeveloped that they have yet to be clearly defined.

The technology is still being settled, so a challenge for many companies is to define the skills necessary for fully utilizing all the cloud has to offer. Foote told CIO, this has resulted in confusion in the job market over what a cloud title really is.

“Cloud is blowing out into a very inclusive definition,” explained Foote. “Now things that have never been included in what would be considered a cloud role or job are being added to the growing list of cloud jobs.”

Traditionally, cloud titles have included engineers, analysts, architects, and some developer and administrator jobs. Now, there are cloud versions of broadly defined skills, including Linus, XML, and Python, that can all be applied to new and developing cloud roles.

But what’s in a name, anyway? Foote explained that the cloud market is in flux and there hasn’t yet been a set of skills that can be called cloud skills. Further, he noted that one of the biggest challenges of not having defined terms and skillsets is from a human capital perspective. Companies may not know to which roles to delegate responsibilities, or what they should be paying their people.

In regard to the future of Cloud Computing careers, Foote concluded, “That cloud training is essentially cross-training. Taking people with skills in different areas of infrastructure, development, architecture, networking, server configuration or administration and then adding a set of skills into those people to make them a different flavor of the specialist that they once were.”

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