Cloud computing is still a relatively new concept to the corporate world, despite most of us interacting with the cloud on a daily basis. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to suggest than many of us even take it for granted.
As defined by Amazon Web Services (AWS), cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centres and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
It’s easy to misinterpret the innovative environment of cloud computing as merely cloud storage. In reality, cloud computing encompasses almost all companies’ IT requirements, and includes business process services, application infrastructure services, application services, management and security services and system infrastructure services.
As internet speeds and capabilities have progressed in recent years, so have those of cloud computing. Indeed, the growth of cloud computing has resulted in it becoming an extremely relevant and in-demand career path.
Here are four primary reasons students and providers should put cloud computing into the heart of their career path and programme considerations:
1. It’s growing
Although cloud computing has been experimented with since the 1960’s, it wasn’t until the 90’s that concept was first defined. The term “Cloud Computing” seems to have first been defined by Prof. Ramnath Chellappa in Dallas in 1997, who explained it to be:
“A computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.”
Since the 90’s cloud computing has been embraced by corporates, turning it into a multibillion-dollar industry. Indeed, a Gartner study predicts that the cloud computing market is set to exceed $330 billion by 2023. As of 2017, a 451 Research study showed that 90% of companies are now operating in the cloud.
In 2019 Forbes predicted that 80% of all Enterprise IT will be in the cloud by 2025. To put that into perspective, 80% of all your work will likely be carried out through an online Cloud platform.
Cloud computing is only going to grow in coming years, and its current trajectory has created a skills gap, opening up global opportunities to students and education providers alike.
2. It’s in demand
If you’re in any type of corporate position, there’s an extremely strong chance that you’ve interacted with Cloud Computing over the past couple of years. Particularly since the start of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The exponential growth of cloud computing has created demands within industry which education is struggling to supply.
It would come as no surprise then that ongoing LinkedIn studies into hard skills and soft skills show that Cloud Computing has consistently been one of the most in-demand hard skills sought by employers over the past five years.
In a survey of over 3,000 technology leaders, career website Monster found recently that 65% of them believe that skills challenges are hurting the IT industry. True cloud professionals seem to be somewhat scarce within the human capital marketplace.
3. It’s more relevant than ever
The real effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the corporate world are still fairly undefined, and will become clearer with time. However, it seems inevitable that companies will recognise the ability to function with a more remote workforce.
This makes cloud computing all the more relevant, by allowing employees to work remotely by using various cloud applications. New employee induction becomes much easier, with no physical IT support required. Employees simply get access to the online cloud applications and they’re good to go. Individuals, hundreds of miles apart, can now collaborate quickly and efficiently through central cloud systems.
This idea of collaboration is a key concept which has grown in the corporate world over the past few years. Teams that collaborate well tend to perform better, are more efficient and are more inclusive.
Long gone are the days of individuals sitting in offices working alone on Powerpoint slides housed on their computer. The modern corporate environment requires the ongoing sharing of documents, collaborative access and editing rights for a range of individuals, and secure management and storage of data and file systems.
With relative ease, cloud computing makes all of this possible, and allows employees to analyse data, run software, stream audio and video, test applications, gather insights and store data at the click of a button.
4. Convenience, safety and security
With the cloud, most services are pay-as-you-go. Companies therefore can pay for software as needed - on a person-by-person license basis. This alleviates the need to pay for software upfront, at the risk of purchasing more than required. The cloud also gives companies easy access to a broad range of technologies, allowing for faster innovation.
Servers aren’t housed on company property - they're out of sight and out of mind. The relevant software companies run them remotely and ensure regular software and security updates are done. This means companies spend less time on systems upkeep and more time on their core business.
In terms of security, cloud computing significantly lowers the risks to the company using it. One interesting facet of cloud computing is its shared responsibility model. Essentially the provider is responsible for the security of the cloud, and the customer is merely responsible for securing the data they put in the cloud.
In terms of speed, companies can deploy technology services in a matter of minutes remotely through the cloud, and move from idea to implementation several times faster than ever before.
Needless to say, cloud computing leads to significant cost savings over the long term.
In the coming years, cloud computing is perhaps the one hard skill which will keep employees relevant more than any other. The ongoing growth of cloud computing around the world will create significant challenges and opportunities for education providers to deliver graduates who can add value to the field. The quickest to market will have significant advantages.
Pearson is currently developing its first BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing through a collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) through its AWS Educate initiative. The qualifications are at level 4 and 5 and are set for first teach in January 2021.