Without the right skills to run the cloud securely, the blessing of cloud computing can soon turn into a curse. [shutterstock: 302413403, Sergey Nivens]
Today’s cloud computing is a great boon to the business world. In most part, it has lifted the burden of purchasing and installing costly IT hardware and software components from businesses, making IT a far more affordable commodity.
The cloud platform proves to be a lot easier and scalable than your private infrastructure. The goal is to build a bigger and better experience for your clients in a lot shorter amount of time. Manage all your digital marketing activities with the ability to do so from one single platform whilst honing your skills to improve your online presence. Ultimately this skill will assist in generating higher quality leads.
However, venturing into the cloud means taking your data and other sensitive resources including software into a shared environment where it faces the risks of cloud computing.
While traditionally you would invest in anti-malware and other conventional forms of security to protect your computing devices and IT systems, there is now need for even more advanced security mechanisms to protect your data from the risks associated with cloud computing.
In essence, this requires new types of skills and knowledge. This write-up shades light on these essential skills that you need to manage today’s cloud environments successfully.
Cloud computing is all about leveraging the seemingly limitless capabilities of the cloud to build, deploy, and manage data and applications. This requires a great deal of programming, making use of high-level programming languages like Python.
Without rich knowledge of these languages or being skilled in using them efficiently, it’s practically impossible to leverage the full potential of the cloud.
Of course, a good grip of traditional programming languages like Java, PHP, and .NET is still essential, only the cloud requires a bit more. Now you need to be skilled in languages like Ruby, Python, and Perl to be able to tackle the risks of cloud computing while making the most of available open source tools and virtualization capabilities of this new space.
Project Management Skills
Cloud computing is constantly lauded for its ability to cut costs of IT by taking away the IT ecosystem from the business premises to a shared virtual space. While this is supposed to make technology less burdensome to build, deploy, and manage, there is still need for project management skills.
IT projects have always required managing of resources and people involved in the process. Meeting of milestones, forming and reformulating goals with changing user preferences, establishing timelines… all these characterize the processes.
This does not change with cloud computing. Now more than ever, end-users have an easier time making new requests at any phase of an IT project, and these have to be factored in. All this makes it even more critical to have effective skills for managing projects successfully in the cloud environment.
It is this skill that will ensure that your projects don’t suffer the risks of cloud computing, nor cost more than the on-premise equivalents (systems) that they are supposed to replace.
Database Management Skills
Closely related to programming is database management. If you’re going to venture into the cloud, you’re going to need a good grip of the programming language used to manage data in this environment. That’s where knowledge of MongoDB, MySQL, and more come in, to securely store, access and manage data on various cloud platforms.
Developmental Operations (DevOps) is that approach to software development that takes into account the entire software lifecycle, right from planning to its use and maintenance.
A skilled DevOps professional is capable of being immersed in all aspects of software development, taking a holistic view of the whole software delivery cycle.
To succeed in this highly involving but equally rewarding area therefore, you require a robust technical acumen to not only understand every aspect of software development, but also be instrumental in optimizing processes and deployment. Further, you need to have the soft skills necessary for getting everyone to collaborate seamlessly.
Cloud computing involves a lot of software creation. If you want to run a secure cloud service, you’ll want to develop software and tools necessary for keeping your services protected from the risks of cloud computing. This only means it’s critical to understand DevOps and how you can work with the framework at different service levels.
Information Security Skills
Often referred to simply as infosec, information security is the other key area you want to pay much attention to. In fact, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is one of the most sought after in the realm of cloud computing.
What this certification does is prove to anyone that you are well-honed in areas like asset security, software development security, as well as identity and access management.
At a personal level, you need to be skilled in these areas as it will help you not only be equipped to mitigate the risks of cloud computing, but also pursue a successful infosec career which can be quite rewarding.
With infosec skills, you’re capable of setting up and managing IT security tools, which are the cornerstones of a secure cloud computing environment.
Mobile App Development and Management Skills
Mobile is the next big thing as far as the consumption of IT services is concerned. Today, mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and iPads are what users use to interface with cloud various services, both in the workplace and remotely.
Actually, the ubiquitous nature of the cloud by itself encourages remote access and handling of data and other cloud based services, which is only something to be done via mobile devices. This makes the mobile an inherent part of the cloud phenomenon.
So, if you’re thinking cloud, you cannot do that without thinking mobile. And that means thinking alongside mobile app development to facilitate access to cloud services. It’s essential that you are able to build and deliver mobile applications that can reside in the cloud and reach users anywhere, anytime.
While at it, be sure you understand enterprise mobile security and what it takes to maneuver the risks of cloud computing. With that, you’re good to run cloud computing without problems.
There you have it: the list of the main skills you need to possess for the successful running and managing of cloud-based services. There could be more skills you need, such as business and financial skills, as they are necessary for building a business case for the profitable deployment of your cloud services. However, the skills listed here are the ones that made the cut based on how essential they are.