Cloud Computing: Skills Before Bandwagon
August 31, 2016 by Bill Rosenthal

Conventional wisdom suggests that cloud computing offers several technical advantages over traditional IT systems:

  • scalability
  • simplified management
  • reduced maintenance
  • increased reliability

But let’s face it. The most powerful advantage isn’t on that list. What advantage is that? The bandwagon. As a trend, cloud computing is at a dangerous point for many businesses — the point that the non-adopters realize they are being left behind. This is when a kind of panic can set in, increasing the frenzy to get on board. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy. Cloud computing will probably solve a number of your business needs, but if fashion is one of those needs, you may be approaching it with the wrong frame of mind. 

Cloud computing often introduces new business issues even while it solves existing ones. Stick with your business needs and ask hard questions before boarding the bandwagon. Who can read your data when it’s in a cloud? Who actually owns your data? What assurances can your cloud vendor provide that it can’t or won’t mine your data for its own marketing purposes? How will the cloud provider keep your data compliant with industry regulations, whether HIPAA, Sarbox, or something else? How can the cloud provider guarantee that your data can easily migrate to a new platform if that is necessary somewhere down the line? What security technologies and procedures does the cloud provider deploy in order to provide adequate protection of your data?

These are a few of the questions that need to be answered before you jump on the wagon. They are business questions, but their answers are — at least in part — technological. That means you need to have cloud expertise in your organization before you begin cloud computing. In the old days, you could sign on with a new technology, even a proprietary one, and expect to grow your own expertise as you deployed it. But the practices of the old days don’t apply. Cloud computing is so intimately tied into your business that you need to have the expertise first.

That’s where National Cloud Technologists Association (NCTA) comes in. NCTA provides a vendor-agnostic curriculum and certification for cloud computing. The NCTA’s unique CloudMASTER® certification program provides IT professionals with solid skills in cloud technologies, cloud architecture, and management of cloud infrastructure, as well as an understanding of modern web services deployment and administration. And it’s as far from proprietary training as you can get. Technologies covered include Microsoft Windows and Azure, Amazon Web Services, VMware, Linux, Google Docs, Drupal, Wordpress, OpenStack, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, Chef, and Chef Solo.

Through our exclusive partnership, Logical Operations delivers NCTA’s certification training and exams in Cloud Technologies, Cloud Operations, and Cloud Architecture. We deliver the instructor-led courses through our CHOICE platform. If you’d like to review the course outlines, just call 1.800.889.8350 or email insidesales@logicaloperations.com.

The cloud can dramatically change the way your organization works. By moving maintenance, update, and infrastructure issues into the background, it can free your IT staff to think about ways technology might increase business revenue. But they need to understand how it works before they start using it. If you jump on the bandwagon before your organization has the necessary skills, you run the risk that the only business revenue you increase is that of your cloud provider.