As India gets increasingly digitalised, cloud computing is evolving beyond the basics and becoming the engine of enterprise technology innovation, bringing in new job opportunities to those skilled in this area.
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services - servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more - over the Internet. This is becoming increasingly popular today. Big businesses wanting to curtail their IT expenditure and small-budget enterprises looking for more computing capacity no longer have to spend on servers and expensive hardware. Cloud companies, with their network of data centres, deliver these services over the Internet. Various global and local companies are now foraying into to this new and growing market.
With mounting data workloads and the increasing threat of cyber hacking, companies are dumping software and IT maintenance contracts in favour of cloud-delivered services. As a result, this has created a new area of specialisation in the IT sector.
In the last few years, cloud computing has undergone rapid changes. According to IT experts, what the market is undergoing today is, in fact, the second phase of cloud adoption. Market research indicates that the vast majority of businesses using cloud computing in one form or the other are moving from initial migration to architectural transformation. In fact, a study found that end-user organisations and service providers have moved beyond the stage of uncertainty around cloud offerings and are embracing the concept as a primary IT and business model for creating new IT infrastructure and executing operations.
It is estimated that, by 2020, the public and private cloud market in India will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30-35% year-on-year. Almost all stakeholders - cloud providers, system integrators, start-ups and channel partners - are looking at a new crop of the cloud-trained and certified workforce.
Till now, cloud integration and architecture were primarily handled by IT engineers. Now the model is changing. Developing cloud models as primary business operations on cloud computing is now rapidly gaining ground. Apart from the integration of cloud technology with on-premise IT infrastructure, organisations also require specialists in cloud deployment software, network monitoring, virtualisation, network infrastructure and server administration.
Hybrid and multi-cloud approaches have emerged as standard practice, therefore the skillset needed includes the ability to weave together solutions based on business requirements. Cybersecurity is central to the successful adoption of cloud technology leading to the requirement of people with expertise in cloud security.
Apart from security, automation and orchestration bring massive value to the business. Techniques like workload migration to cloud platforms will continue to grow, leading to workforce requiring knowledge of cloud storage, moving workloads between cloud providers and application migration considerations.
In the coming months, there is going to be a huge number of job openings in cloud computing in India. Both service providers and leading multinational companies are looking to hire cloud engineers. But there are very few people who are skilled in cloud technologies. The market is therefore wide open for new entrants to this expanding field. Since the cloud computing landscape is changing rapidly at this stage, the academic curriculum is not able
to match the skills required by the industry.
New age cloud engineers are required to work across multiple vendor-specific cloud technologies such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. They need to understand the basic functions and technology that drive cloud computing. The answer to the current need is a vendor technology-neutral certification. It helps those wanting to specialise in this field develop the necessary skills needed to thrive and contribute effectively to the workforce.
With such skills, the new age cloud workforce can work across technologies in a data centre having multiple cloud providers. It will also help the workforce gather a holistic understanding while learning the vendor-specific cloud technologies.
(The writer is regional director, CompTIA India, Gurugram)