Evolving IT Fields have Professionals with their Heads in the Clouds
The information technology sector in the US is transitioning from traditional IT delivery systems to cloud-based systems.
Cloud allows for a faster response time, enabling IT experts to deploy services in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. This is resulting in a rapid growth in cloud services and a corresponding evolution in cloud job roles.
Cloud Architects Complementing Enterprise Architects
The role of a cloud architect is now increasingly seen to complement that of an enterprise architect, instead of competing against it. While the enterprise architect builds a holistic view of the company’s IT strategy, the cloud architect is guided by this strategy to push the company’s IT journey to the cloud.
Cloud architects are also helping formulate the organization’s IT strategy to ensure that it maximizes the innovation and services that the cloud providers may offer.
Combined Role of Cloud Architects
While the role of a cloud architect and an enterprise architect continue to be separate in large companies, smaller companies are increasingly combining these roles. The challenge in such a combination is to ensure that the cloud architect can devise and drive the IT strategy while still maintaining skills to handle the evolving cloud environment.
Cloud providers are going through a dramatic transformation, where even a specialist dedicated exclusively to cloud architecture may find it difficult to keep up with the speed of change.
The organization’s objective should be to ultimately unite the IT teams, and not divide them. Therefore, as organizations mature about how they operate and use cloud hosted services, the cloud architect’s role will become more pivotal to drive and support the organization.
Taking a Holistic View of the IT Landscape
The evolving role of the cloud architect requires them to have the capability to take a holistic view of the entire IT landscape. They should be able to work with multiple teams to create and drive a cohesive cloud strategy that covers, at a minimum, these critical areas:
Structure of the Organization – Are the IT teams structured in a way that they can support cloud based services? Does the existing team require dedicated cloud engineers to meet the organization’s goals?
Security and Compliance – What are the regulatory and compliance issues before the organization, and how will the cloud services become secure and compliant?
Identity Management – What type of identity providers might be required, and is there a need to federate with outside organizations?
Operational Methods and Processes – How will the cloud affect the existing operational processes and are the current methods fit for the organization’s purpose?
Cloud Provider – Which type of cloud providers should be used, and whether a multi-cloud IT strategy should be implemented?
Demanding but Rewarding Job Role
One of the key skills for cloud architects is developing a holistic vision to evaluate across the spectrum of IT divisions and determine the impact of new cloud services.
The job role of cloud architects is increasingly demanding, but it is a highly rewarding career. It requires skills that are in high demand, and in all likelihood, this demand will continue to increase exponentially in the next few years.