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@CloudExpo Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Wayne Lam, Dana Gardner, Ian Khan

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The Anatomy of a Cloud Computing Technologist

Are you thinking of moving some business operations to the cloud?

Moving your business to the cloud is probably an idea that would set you on course for better profitability. However, this transition is far less easy than simply choosing a cloud vendor and moving a portion of your business activities to the cloud. You need a clearly defined cloud strategy in place if you are to leverage the immense potential of the cloud computing for your business. More importantly, you need a qualified person to be in charge of this strategy to ensure its successful implementation.

cloud There are plenty of challenges associated with moving a business to the cloud and finding an appropriate person to handle it is certainly one of them.

To ensure that the challenges of cloud migration are met successfully, you need a cloud computing technologist who can handle the move to the cloud for you. You need somebody who is well-versed in the use of cloud technology and has comprehensive knowledge of the benefits it can bring to the table.

Yet before you hire “Cloud Champions’ for your business, you need to be very sure these individuals have the required skillsets to do their job properly.

So what are the skill sets that make up the anatomy of an effective cloud computing technologist? Let’s take a look:

    • Core Technical Skills

Ideally, the right candidate is one who has got plenty of IT skills in his armory.  If a certain portion of the Cloud is managed in-house, then the person should also be well-versed with the workings of the Cloud and its architecture. The person must also have knowledge about application development because it’s your business applications that are going to run on the Cloud.

More importantly, knowledge of virtualization, Java and .NET will give the cloud technologist a better grip on integrating the use of the Cloud with business operations.

    • Knowledge of Business and Finance

A business is a coming together of diverse activities and the ideal cloud professional is somebody who can identify moving which activity to the cloud makes the most sense. For this to happen, he needs key business skills that can help him understand the workings of various business processes, their strengths and weaknesses, ROI, performance and improvements needed.  More importantly, the person must also have the financial expertise needed to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of moving to the Cloud.

If a business wants to make an investment in the cloud, the move must make financial sense. It is the cloud technologist who needs to work out whether the move will deliver returns.

    • Successful Cloud Professionals are Great Project Managers

Think of a move to the cloud as a project that needs to deliver tangible returns. This project might ask for resources from different parts of the organization, will have its set of goals and time frame to achieve these goals. Who will keep watch on this project and make sure it is handled successfully? The answer is your cloud technologist cum project manager. Also, the move to the cloud will see end users demanding more services from the Cloud, which can jack up the overheads; this is something that needs to be kept in check.

As a business, you must ensure that your cloud project doesn’t go overboard and keeps well within its designated purpose and objectives. For this to happen, critical project management skillsets need to come into play.

    • Software Asset Managers

Many of a business’s critical software assets will move to the Cloud and somebody needs to make sure that the software is safe and being used the way it is supposed to. There can be occasions where users bypass the IT department to install applications and access data they aren’t authorized to. A specter of security breach hangs over a business’s move to the cloud, which makes software asset protection a critical business activity. This job also needs to be handled by the Cloud expert.

More importantly, the use of Cloud makes it easier for a business to add to its software capabilities as it subscribes to the pay as you use model of the Cloud. In such cases, one needs to train the concerned employees to use the software right; again a job for software asset managers.

    • Change Agents/Managers

Migrating to a cloud computing environment requires a business to make lots of resource and process driven changes. There will be a huge impact on the existing organizational processes as the migration will lead to some changes being made to them in order to accommodate the Cloud. What will also change is how various users interact with business systems that have moved to the Cloud. While some might take this change in their stride, others might find it difficult to adjust to it.

It is the Cloud technologist who will need to use his change management skills to ensure the smooth transition of certain business software/applications/operations/activities to the Cloud and ensure that the resultant ‘change’ in the way the organization functions will be accepted by everybody.

To Conclude

You need an able person to be in charge of your business’s move to the Cloud or your Cloud strategy will be dead on arrival. But hiring a highly qualified Cloud professional is not enough. What you need to do is come up with a Cloud policy that is aligned with your overall business objectives. This will help you make the most of your move to the Cloud.

Author Bio:

Avyakta is an MSc graduate by education. She is a professional writer in the domain of learning and education. She has completed her masters in Biochemistry from Bangalore University and is currently working as an author with Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd, which is one of the leading providers of professional certification courses. The courses offered by Simplilearn address the unique needs of working professionals. She has previously worked with a publishing house ande-commerce firm. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 3 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Project Management, Cloud Computing Certification, IT, Finance, SAP, Quality Management and more.

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