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Cloud Knowledge Is Power in Changing Role of IT Professional

October 11, 2012 No Comments

By: Patrick Burke

Cloud computing not only transforms how businesses trim costs, access information and leverage new ways of finding revenue. Cloud also means businesses are re-examining the very functions of their IT staff.

When considering cloud computing, don’t think of IT just as the guy who sits behind the curtain ensuring the desktop computers work, Antonio Piraino, CTO of ScienceLogic, said in a recent article on

“Instead it is the understanding that there are new ways in which to demonstrate products online, access customer databases and real-time service views, integrate multiple facets of information for better business intelligence, create easy reporting for executive or financial requirements,” he said.

The different job duties that come with putting your data in the cloud include more monitoring, either via automated systems or manually discovering or responding to bandwidth or other problems.

“The job is no longer setting up the physical environment. It’s knowing how things need to be set up in the virtual world to deliver the performance you need to accomplish goals,” said Brian Wade, independent telecom consultant working with business owners, IT managers and office managers.

Cloud computing was never intended to take away the IT managers job so much as introduce easier methods for controlling a far greater amount of work to be accomplished on these cloud platforms, according to the article.

According to CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study, there are indicators that the market for cloud solutions is robust, with the number of organizations using cloud resources rising for the third straight year. More than eight in 10 companies currently use some form of cloud solution.

The investments companies are planning are based on positive sentiments – 85 percent of survey respondents feel more positive about cloud computing than they did last year, compared to 72 percent in 2011, according to the survey. This popularity is driving both IT and business staff to experiment with cloud options and to re-examine the role and functions of IT.

“This may entail changes to policies and procedures, restructuring of IT departments and use of outside companies,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

Policy and procedure changes may be internal to an IT department or broad, corporate-wide changes. For example, as more lines of business attempt to procure and maintain their own cloud solutions, policies regarding security, use of company data and mobile devices need to be addressed.

“Internal IT departments also are on the edge of major transformation,” Robinson said. “The option for cloud solutions for various parts of the computing stack is opening the doors for IT professionals to perform new tasks, or at least perform old tasks in new ways. It’s also creating new job roles and functions to more tightly integrate IT teams with lines of business.”

Expanding the cloud knowledge and know-how of IT professionals is essential in order to keep pace with the expectations of their organizations. One place to fortify an IT professional’s cloud fundamentals is through Rackspace’s CloudU initiative.

CloudU is a vendor-neutral curriculum designed for business owners and technical professionals who want to bolster their knowledge of the fundamentals of cloud computing, according to Rackspace. CloudU provides a comprehensive series of original whitepapers, live and on-demand webinars, events, blogs, videos and e-books aimed at increasing cloud computing knowledge among businesses.

The program is a collaborative effort between Rackspace Hosting and industry analyst, entrepreneur and commentator Ben Kepes of Diversity Limited. Anyone looking at moving to the cloud, regardless of vendor or platform, can benefit from CloudU.

By completing all 10 CloudU lessons and sitting for a final online exam, professionals can earn a CloudU Certificate, demonstrating their command of the most important topics in cloud computing.

Learn more about earning a CloudU Certificate here.

Patrick BurkePatrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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