R.V. Raghu is Director and Co-founder of Versatilist Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., which provides consulting, training and auditing services in information security, IT service management, business continuity and enterprise risk management. Raghu has more than a decade and a half of extensive, hands-on, global experience across various verticals, such as engineering, manufacturing, IT, ITeS, BFSI, chemicals, mining and telecom. He has provided training, consulting and implementation support for establishing management systems compliant to ISO international standards and other frameworks, such as CMMI and COBIT.
The pandemic has laid the groundwork for increased cloud computing adoption and all trends indicate the same is set to continue into 2022 and beyond, now that both consumers and enterprises have had a taste of the cloud’s myriad possibilities. It is valuable for IT professionals and students to not only understand these cloud trends and educate themselves in cloud fundamentals, but to also take steps to leverage the opportunities in this space to advance their careers.
Per IDC research, enterprise cloud investment, both public and private, climbed 34.4% year over year, while non-cloud IT spending fell 8%. Cost and convenience are probably two key factors contributing to increased cloud adoption. It is also true that end customer devices these days come bundled with cloud access and storage, making it easier to not only increase storage but also to share photos and other content. The pandemic has led to customers increasingly using streaming services and other cloud-based services for entertainment, gaming, music, and other purposes, further increasing cloud exposure.
On the enterprise side, all it takes is a few clicks of the button on a web browser to set up and enable collaboration, connection, and a seamless work environment, no matter where one is based. Cloud adoption is accelerating across public, private and hybrid clouds, irrespective of models such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS), as well as other emerging models such as data as a service (DaaS) and API as a service. In what is also becoming a classic case of “a rising tide lifting all boats,” this is leading to an all-round increase in all things cloud and cloud-related. According to predictions from Gartner, global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over USD 482 billion in 2022, up from USD 313 billion in 2020.
Now, what does this mean to you as a professional or even a student? To put it simply, it means opportunities galore. Cloud-based products, services and solutions are slowly morphing into an ecosystem model which is opening the industry to both direct and indirect career opportunities.
As a professional or a student, you can take advantage of this explosive growth in multiple ways. Here are five things that you can do today:
- Shed the novice tag: This is probably the simplest thing to do. You can learn about various cloud products and services with many courses offered by leading cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft, AWS, Oracle, etc. for free or at a nominal cost. Many of these courses cover the gamut from beginner to advanced, providing an overview of the cloud landscape, the various technologies, and products and services. These courses also come with accompanying certificates which can instantly add value to your CV with ISACA’s Cloud Fundamentals Certificate enabling learners in building understanding of cloud computing principles, concepts, governance and service support through a hybrid learning approach with a stackable certificate as a bonus.
- Dive deeper: Once you are familiar with the basics, you can dive deeper into cloud technologies by choosing to specialize in cloud technologies such as computing, storage, and networking, which can give you a much-needed boost as you step into your career or help you make that shift into the cloud space if you are a professional already in the field.
- Explore related technologies: As you dig deeper you may find yourself naturally drawn to specific technologies layered on the cloud such as the Internet of Things (IoT), or serverless architecture, containerization, AI, and edge computing, and you can choose to specialize in any of these areas. Specializing in these areas and technologies will give you both a vertical and horizontal view of the domain, making it that much easier to work in these technologies in diverse industry sectors.
- Focus on security: Despite all the progress, one area that remains and will continue to remain an area of focus is that of cloud security. Traditional issues of data theft, leakage, and privacy challenges, which have plagued IT systems, remain relevant in the cloud as well. Cloud security has become critical for other reasons as well, including rising regulation (e.g. GDPR), and poor understanding of cloud security—especially on the customer side—making the need for cloud security professionals all the more important.
- Specialize: Apart from courses specific to the basics of the cloud technology stack, you can also become knowledgeable in areas such as cloud governance, risk management, and audit. Credentials such as CCAK (Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge) offered by ISACA and CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) covering aspects such as auditing of the cloud can also be considered. This can be a great option, especially if you are already in the technology space and understand cloud and related technologies, but want to play a bigger role in how your enterprise uses and adopts cloud technologies.
So, what are you waiting for? This is probably the one time when a “cloudy” outlook is welcome and even something that should be taken advantage of. Take a cue from the latest trends in cloud and let the learning—and career advancement—begin today!