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Steer your career to the cloud

Cloud computing creates new career paths for savvy IT professsionals

By , Network World
February 07, 2011 12:03 AM ET

Page 2 of 3

That creates a seller's market, as it were. "There are probably 50 cloud jobs chasing one candidate. That'll drive salaries up and people's value within the company will go up, too, plus they'll be able to hold onto positions for longer periods of time," he adds.

Job titles are even starting to morph to capture the growing importance of the cloud to enterprise IT strategy, says Pat O'Day, CTO at cloud host BlueLock.

"Where once we saw network architects we're starting to see cloud architect," he cites as one example. "This change implies that the person is now responsible not only for the architecture of the existing network but also connectivity and associated things to external cloud providers."

"I'm seeing cloud project manager and cloud strategist within some of enterprises, but more so within companies selling software as services," Linthicum says.

Case in point is Darren DelDuco, who is vice president of cloud services at Aprimo, an independent software vendor that develops and sells packaged software for marketers. With such a title, it's not hard to figure that DelDuco is responsible for the cloud-based infrastructure and operations supporting the company's hosted and on-demand offerings.

"I oversee all aspects of application delivery for those two product lines, including the business, pricing and go-to-market strategies relative to those cloud services-based offering," he explains.

What's in a name

Some enterprises may be reluctant to create new, formal job titles based on a heavily hyped technology like cloud, even though they are eager to have on board people who can do cloud architecture, develop on public clouds and who understand the intrinsic nature of a particular cloud platform, Linthicum says.

"We're not hearing of new cloud titles coming up per say," agrees Pedro Villalba, CTO at EmblemHealth, a health insurance provider in New York. "But if you have a technical architect in your organization, which we do, that job description will be changing or the portfolio of what that technical architect does is going to expand."

That's good news for IT staff members who want to establish themselves as cloud gurus, Villalba says. "A person will be more marketable when called a technical architect specializing in cloud computing. We'll keep the technical architect title, but add a specialty - server virtualization, cloud computing - with a hyphen."

At Concur Technologies, for example, you'll find plenty of cloud work under way but no cloud titles, says Drew Garner, director of architecture services for this Redmond, Wash., provider of on-demand employee spend management services. Over the last six months, he's overseen a four-person team of technical planners and project managers/designers that recently decided to move forward with a hosted private cloud.

Drew Garner

As such, Garner says, "One of the product managers working for me has had to come up to speed with researching contracts, mostly from data center providers. Especially from an SLA standpoint, people have had to become mini lawyers."

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