From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new path in their work culture? Should you be expecting a salary hike due to your increased market value, or is it more important than ever to get training and certifications to verify your expertise? And what about companies that employ these individuals — how can you best leverage them to help you succeed?
Jefferson Frank is a specialist AWS recruiter and has put together a white paper on how to overcome these (and more) types of business challenges using AWS, the undisputed market leader in the cloud space. They’re uniquely positioned to see the impact that recent events have had on both enterprises that utilize cloud technology, and the individuals within these organizations that use cloud tech in their daily roles.
One of its leading recruiters, Patrick Navarro, takes us through what these changes have meant for cloud professionals and what opportunities have arisen from the continued domination of cloud technology across many industries.
Shared challenges and new rewards
Recent changes to the way we work have brought cloud technology to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Not only has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted consumer habits and added logistical challenges to otherwise simple processes, but businesses around the globe have found themselves unable to support their workforce remotely. For many, this has been devastating.
A positive to take from these circumstances, however, is that businesses won’t make the same mistake again. Craig Lowery, a Research VP at Gartner, recently said: “I don’t see [coronavirus] as a distraction to the cloud migration plans, I see this as an accelerant.”
It’s now quite apparent how fundamental even the most basic cloud-based systems are to an organization, since uncertainty around how and when professionals can work is now the baseline state. Employees need to have the flexibility to work at customer sites, in the office, or at home, and employers need to be prepared to ride out any turbulence that comes as they deal with constant changes.
Cloud professionals are in a good position: they have the keys to drive the potential of digital transformation. But it’s good not to get too comfortable — the best thing you can do to prepare for continued business challenges is to learn where your services will be most in need and become an expert in those areas.
Based on the details we compiled in our white paper on overcoming business challenges with AWS, we’ve found common stumbling blocks in organizations in recent times. We have worked with industry influencers and experts to ensure the insights in our white paper contain practical and actionable advice, with the common denominator being that cloud experts need to come in and lead this transformation.
Challenge 1: Migration and Implementation
The first thing we highlighted in our white paper is the sudden rush toward implementation. Businesses are clambering over themselves to work with AWS partners and consultants, but the reality is that these changes take time, and rushing a migration and implementation can be more damaging than sticking with legacy systems already in place.
If you’ve ever worked in an agency or as a consultant, you may already have experience working on these types of projects. It can be a little more challenging if you work in-house, however, as implementation projects don’t come around as often. What’s a good way to tackle this challenge? Take the opportunity to learn the fundamentals independently. Your first stop should be to learn how the Amazon Server Migration Service works, and it can’t hurt to look at case studies on what type of businesses have implemented AWS in the past and how they went about it.
Challenge 2: Data Security
Platform security is a huge concern for businesses right now, and justifiably so. With the rush to house all of your data in the cloud and give employees remote access to systems and databases that previously would have been under lock and key, there’s a great risk of data being compromised either by internal or external threats. In addition, it’s way more complicated to see the entire plane of use across multi-cloud business units. You need to understand the underlying architecture and leverage whatever additional in-house development resources or third-party tools you can get to attain visibility over your entire deployment.
You can get started by learning about the AWS Shared Responsibility Model. This means that the responsibility for the security OF the cloud is taken care of by AWS, while cloud customers are responsible for security IN the cloud. AWS provides a robust set of options for securing your data, so you need to learn which options are the most appropriate in different circumstances.
Recommended training: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-security-services-42/
Challenge 3: Architecture and Infrastructure
So much of what makes cloud technology desirable is its adaptability and scalability. It’s set up in a way that — in theory — allows you to only pay for the services you use, with no wasted resources. But part of that is knowing how to approach infrastructure, which products and services are essential in certain circumstances, and which can be scaled down or let go.
This could be everything from not utilizing cloud monitoring tools, to opting for the wrong storage tier, to simply being unaware of the various usage discounts you may be eligible for. Ideally, you get to a position where you’re so experienced with the technology that you can look at an infrastructure and identify where processes can be improved, or costs scaled down, based on what you’ve utilized to achieve success in the past.
Given the advancements in this technology over the last few years, I’d have to recommend learning about serverless architecture. This technology is a developer’s dream in that it allows you to focus more on the code itself, the feature you’re looking to implement, and less on the way that code interacts with your server or cluster of servers. It also gives stakeholders a much clearer understanding of the cost of cloud transactions, which makes cost management far simpler.
Recommended training: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/serverless-platform-services-on-aws-1259/
Facing the future head-on
All these listed challenges come before you consider all the tech requirements for remote working, which will naturally differ from business to business. Some companies may prioritize video conferencing or customer service tools, and might even want those integrated with their other cloud products. Other businesses may prefer having a sturdy cloud-based project management system where tracking staff performances and KPIs is a bigger priority. Either way, the opportunity is there for you.
I’d recommend downloading our white paper in full for a more comprehensive look at the future of cloud. You may even want to pass it on to your employer if you feel it would be helpful in informing the business strategy. It’s going to be a huge few years of change and adjustment for cloud technology in the wider business world — we’re going to have to work together to help organizations desperately in need of our expertise.