Cloud IT infrastructure has plenty of overlap with traditional on-premise servers, but there are additional layers of complexity and new tools to learn as well. That’s why building a successful cloud team is so important to an effective cloud deployment.
A managed service provider can help you fill your cloud skills gaps and architect a versatile and resilient cloud platform for your applications and data. But if you want continued success in the cloud, having a cloud architect on your IT team goes a long way.
How has the role of a cloud architect evolved and what are they responsible for? Let’s take a look.
While complete cloud architecture and cloud services teams will add a dozen or more roles to your IT organizational chart, you can get by with just a couple of them and your existing administrators and engineers. One of those key roles is the Cloud Architect.
The RightScale State of the Cloud report found an 11% jump in self-identified cloud architects between 2018 and 2017. Meanwhile a CompTIA survey found that 46% of IT professionals thought the overall IT skills gap was growing, with cloud infrastructure and applications among the most in-demand skills. 57% reported they needed those cloud talents on their team.
That means Cloud Architects are in high demand. Gartner defines their role as leading cultural changes around cloud use and adoption, developing and coordinating the use of cloud architecture, and designing the strategy around cloud use, adaptation, and migration.
Daily responsibilities can range from recruiting cloud talent, assessing existing and future applications/software/hardware for cloud use, creating a cloud broker team (or cloud service managers, as we’ll describe in a moment), establishing cloud best practices, selecting and vetting service providers, managing governance and risk programs, managing budget and costs, and scaling infrastructure.
Collaboration and familiarity with the latest cloud platforms, vendors, and integration tools are important skills for the cloud architect, who must also have a deep understanding of enterprise IT at many levels.
Soft skills beyond IT for the cloud architect include management skills, communication, collaboration, financial or budgetary experience, vendor management, and thought leadership. This is, above all, a managerial role that works with various IT teams, business stakeholders, managers of other business departments outside IT, and a variety of vendors.
A cloud architect can emerge from many different paths, including your enterprise IT team (architects, engineers, and admins) or even from the business side of operations, should a candidate prove particularly technically adept.
Providing access and reimbursement for certifications offered by leading cloud providers and virtualization platforms is a great way to transition existing staff into a cloud architect role.
If your company can’t afford to add additional IT staff, lack skills in a specific platform, or simply need additional resources to implement a cloud solution, you can also turn to a company like Green House Data to add managed cloud platform, so your existing staff can focus on supporting business systems rather than maintaining the underlying infrastructure.