Susanne Tedrick
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5 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting as a Cloud Professional
Career, Cloud, Opinion

5 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting as a Cloud Professional

Earlier this month, I took some time to reflect on my journey in becoming a tech professional and cloud specialist. Specific career advice is sometimes tricky to offer, but there are certainly some “lessons learned” and “it worked for me moments.” If you are looking to make the switch to being a tech professional, with a particular interest in the cloud, perhaps some of these thoughts might help on your journey.

Cloud is more than just a technical concept. Cloud computing also requires a discussion on more business-oriented topics, with implications on a company’s culture. Cloud requires all of us to re-think how we have traditionally consumed and developed IT services. Also, when trying to decide between different solutions, cloud-based solutions must make the case regarding cost, resources, and required technical skill and expertise. Ultimately, that means are not inevitable – after careful reflection, you may decide that cloud is not a fit for your goals.

What’s more, companies must understand cloud solutions will have an impact on the organization’s culture. For example, a virtual machine that allows employees to work from a broader range of locations means remote workers. It may also require them to acquire additional skills to navigate new solutions. Without the necessary conversations to navigate these changes, companies might run into turbulence down the road.

Security needs to be at the heart of designing and implementing cloud solutions. Cloud computing is not inherently safer than other tech solutions. The possible challenges are well-documented, and an attack or service disruption can cripple an unprepared company. This is why security needs to be at the foundation of the conversation. Despite cloud computing’s ability to help manage the disruption of COVID-19, security still matters. As Priyanka Roy points out, “public cloud providers are responsible for ensuring their clouds’ security, but they aren’t responsible for their clients’ applications, servers, and data security.” Companies need to take responsibility for encrypting their own data.

The tech industry shapes the cloud. The possibilities for cloud computing are virtually endless. But the industry influences the path cloud development takes. Artificial intelligence is moving from being a buzzword to a viable component of business strategy. There may be other applications for the cloud, but those possibilities need to match a business case—and demonstrate ROI.

There is no “one size fits all” to cloud. Whether you’re running a virtual machine, needing artificial intelligence for analysis, or simply serving as a location to store tremendous amounts of data, the applications of the cloud are incredibly numerous. Cloud professionals should focus on understanding the client’s need and pain points more than features and capabilities.

Your path as a cloud professional can vary.  The growth of the cloud has yielded more and more career opportunities. I’ve mentioned a few potential career paths in a previous post, but there are many other possibilities as well, like artificial intelligence and analytics to name a few. Understanding these possibilities can help to define your particular path as a cloud professional and determine the subsequent knowledge or skillsets you will need to succeed.

What are some of the insights you have gained as a cloud professional? Do you have other questions that I may not have covered in this post? Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, @SusanneTedrick.