Once upon a time it took a whole lotta space and equipment to build a company’s IT infrastructure. And once all the dirty work of setting up was done, it took a team of accredited IT professionals to manage the physical and virtual mood swings of the network and storage systems. For many companies, the “once upon a time” model remains the norm but any network administrator, business intelligence agent with an ear to the ground knows that like winter, a change is coming.
The cloud is more than just a convenient space saver. It’s a game-changing revolution poised to completely revolutionize the way business technology is deployed. With cloud computing, businesses can free up time, space and money by moving their data, applications and activities to a customized virtual infrastructure stored online. But the absence of a server room doesn’t necessarily mean the extinction of the IT department. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Experienced IT professionals with cloud computing certifications are in demand like it’s 1999—and they’re commanding the “grunge-era” salaries to match.
IT Professionals Go Back to School
As cloud services continue to expand, so too does the level of anxiety within businesses and government organizations. Without standardized operating policies or governing regulatory bodies, the potential for unqualified card-carrying ‘experts’ to run amok is high. A certification from Bert’s Cloud Emporium won’t save a business during a security catastrophe, but not to worry. As usual, we can rely on the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to research and report back on the best of the best in cloud computing certification providers. In their list of Top Ten Cloud Computing Certifications, here are the top three for IT professionals;
- Cloud U is geared at business and IT professionals seeking cloud computing fundamentals
- Your buddies at IBM also cover the basics with a strong focus on IBM offerings (duh!) including virtualization, CloudBurst and Websphere
- And finally, Google’s Certified Deployment Specialist certification (the first of its kind from the search engine giant) includes an Apps100 course and focuses on Google Apps for business
Picking the right Cert
Why is the cloud great? Because the possibilities are endless. For IT professionals trying to choose a specialization, this is horrible news. Choosing a certification that fits with personal interests and company goals can be tough. A good place to start is with basics like utility computing, SaaS, Web service and Internet integration and security. That said, it’s important to know exactly what the certification covers, including what technologies are taught and how the certification gives the individual an edge over his or her peers. It’s also worth the effort of ensuring the program is relevant to the employer’s IT and service goals.
So rest easy, IT friends. Your industry was built on complex systems that require specific skills to create and maintain, and it will continue to be so in the future. Only this time you won’t freeze your butt off in the server room.