If you work in information technology, you’d better be accustomed to change. Our industry is characterized by a continuous flow of new innovations — products and services that cause churn and, in some cases, completely disrupt existing markets. While such change brings risk to businesses and organizations that use the technology, it also promises to help answer the CIO’s all-consuming need to do more faster, and with less.
Virtualization — in its private and public cloud instances — is one of the more recent technology tsunamis. Driven initially by customers’ need to counter server sprawl, virtualization has become a staple of the majority of IT strategies and has been extended to desktops, applications, databases, and networks.
Virtualization is one of the key enablers of public cloud computing offerings like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. As with on-premises virtualization, the primary impact of AWS and other cloud services is the reduction or elimination of physical servers and the infrastructure needed to support them. In addition, features such as auto-install make it much easier to install and deploy new server instances. But just because your AWS environment is virtualized, doesn’t mean that it’s simple. You still have operating systems, applications, databases, and the rest, and — probably more than ever — you need to secure them.
The Job Impact of AWS
So what’s the likely impact on your job and job prospects if your organization is considering moving to AWS?
Well, such a move should only be undertaken in a careful and controlled way. Few organizations will flash migrate mission critical applications and servers to a new environment. They will start with low risk systems and only proceed when they are satisfied. This means that it’s likely to be business as usual for some time. But beware. There is going to be an impact on IT jobs, as customers embrace the transition to private (virtualized) clouds and to public cloud offerings like AWS.
There will be a need for solution architects and DevOps professionals who understand the performance of the business application as a whole — availability, scalability, and tolerance to failures.
In addition, there will be a greater need for professionals who can look at the needs of the business and the alignment of IT services with those needs. So, we’ll see the need for solutions architects, as well as for service management professionals who understand how to align IT systems and services with the needs of the business.
Amazon, like Google and other cloud providers, understand the impact on operational and development roles, as customers move to the cloud. They have introduced a certification program covering the design, development and operation of AWS-based applications.
Separately, we can look to service management — and the associated ITILⓇ certifications — as an area of growing need for organizations moving applications to the cloud.
Prepare for the Change
You should consider taking steps to make sure that your career is not derailed by AWS. Here are some CBT Nuggets training courses and certifications that might help put you on the right track:
We also suggest that you look into ITILⓇ certifications that focus on best practices for service management. ITILⓇ certified professionals will be in demand, as organizations gain experience and trust AWS as a platform for their mission critical applications. There are five levels of ITILⓇ certification, but start with the entry ITIL® Foundation Level.
Be prepared. If AWS and other public cloud options take off as expected, there will be a change in job roles and career opportunities. But if you embrace the change and prepare for it, then AWS will not steal your job. It will just offer you a new, improved one.
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