(Update) To get a definition of the roles needed to maximize your organization’s investment in cloud, explore the latest skills in demand by job role with Cloud Academy’s Cloud Roster™.
“Microsoft has no future, they still sell software for desktops and don’t have any kind of innovation to compete“. This is an old story, I usually hear this from people that are not very familiar with Microsoft’s world and are not reading through the lines what Microsoft has achieved in the last decade only. The real fact is that Microsoft is still one of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world and the new CEO, Satya Nadella, is probably the best news for you if you are thinking about your future and your career.
Let me explain this.
What is Nadella’s link to cloud computing?
If you take a look at the Nadella’s career you will notice how this guy lived close to one of the most important business unit: Microsoft Server and Tools. Before this, he was the head of Microsoft Business Solutions and in 2013 was a VP for the Cloud unit of Microsoft.
That means that Satya Nadella knows very well how powerful the cloud could modernize Microsoft: this is not only related to AWS, Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure, do not misunderstand me, this is on a higher level.
Mobile is probably the most important technology connected to cloud computing, we are sharing data on more devices and we operate quite everything on a cloud model, from messages to photos and documents. Eventually, this changed also our approach to building applications and design them.
The web and the browser are the new desktops and so, the mobile world is more than an extension: we have no more desktop applications, we have online services (SaaS) and we have platforms (PaaS). Connected to them or on top of them, we have mobile applications and web applications. Software comes first and in a close relationship with the infrastructure. Microsoft has now understood that the hardware vendors are almost dead in a world where the public infrastructure is the king.
Nadella totally understands that the future for Microsoft is a combination of technologies with a unique factor for all of them: a public cloud computing infrastructure. Even if it’s not famous like AWS, Microsoft Azure is probably the second most important public cloud in the world and the one where Microsoft is migrating a lot of internal and external applications.
Talking about numbers, in 2013 Nadella confirmed that more than 3.5 million businesses were using Office365 and Microsoft Azure passed 1 billion in revenues.
Microsoft is already using Azure as a public service to power most of its businesses online, from Office365 to Dynamics CRM, but the future is also made of a hybrid cloud approach, and this is where Microsoft is now a step ahead the competition with a complete offer for companies that want to create a private cloud without sacrificing the opportunity to move some workload to the public cloud.
Microsoft Azure and your cloud career
In this context, you already know that having cloud skills will be even a bigger opportunity in the future.
With a new CEO that a strong view on the Cloud Computing’s potential, it is pretty clear that Microsoft will invest billions, during the next years to spread its cloud offer both for public cloud, Microsoft Azure and for private cloud. This means new job positions with specific cloud skills for companies of any size: you should remember that the assets of Microsoft include also a powerful ecosystem of partners that will have access to millions of SMBs and enterprises. This will be the real force to change how the IT industry works: at the end of the day everything is going to change even on the smallest office, we’ll not have dedicated server and racks as well as installed applications and desktop application, everything is going to migrate and it will be on a cloud platform. That could be a SaaS solution or an IaaS solution if we speak about the enterprise.
Why Cloud will change the daily operations of SMBs?
They are forced to, people in these companies are using mobile technologies, they are using apps and so they totally understand the cloud’s advantages. We are moving from a point where we have databases and applications on a dedicated server under your desk to a scenario where we just use a SaaS application that provides us a database service and store our data in the cloud. And what about how we connect with these applications? We live in the age of Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphone. They do not run desktop apps, but they do have a SaaS client for that database app and guess what, this is possible because all the data are in the cloud.
20 years ago Microsoft totally changed the world with the Windows ecosystem: people started taking certifications and gaining skills on these systems. Now the same thing will happen with cloud computing and with Microsoft Azure on the specific case of Microsoft Azure. I think that there will be more and more job positions about Microsoft cloud services in the future, something that is already happening for Amazon Web Services.
Having cloud computing skills will be the key fact to understand and then ride the cloud revolution in many industries, the ones where Microsoft used to rule with desktop software and where it will now deploy Microsoft Azure.