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Cloud computing emerges as top global tech area

The shift to cloud platforms has been swift and impactful. The rapid rise and adoption by IT departments has been well documented in our annual IT Skills and Salary Report.

Even the mere mention of “cloud computing” is a new phenomenon, really only making a noticeable dent in the IT industry in the last three years.

To be more specific, the term “cloud” has appeared 117 times in the 10 years of our IT Skills and Salary Report-107 of those mentions have occurred since 2015.

To further illustrate the rapid ascension from non-existence to one of the most important topics in the industry, here is a timeline of cloud computing’s growth according to our report:

Cloud computing went from relative obscurity to the No. 1 area of interest worldwide in about eight years. But it didn’t happen without some resistance.

Initially, a shift to cloud services was met with a bevy of fears-the strongest being the belief that cloud computing would result in downsizing. In its early years, many in the industry regarded cloud computing as a form of outsourcing to companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google.

By 2015, those fears were mostly quelled. Cloud computing certainly had a major impact on IT organizations but not in the way many anticipated. There were no massive IT layoffs. Instead, new roles were created, and existing employees were presented with more opportunities to add new cloud-based skills.

Global Senior Portfolio Director Pete Vorenkamp, who oversees Cloud Computing for Global Knowledge, says that a shift to cloud is forcing the old legacy IT silos to fall and enabling a new more collaborative and agile IT.

“I would say that clients are also starting to accelerate their understanding of the fact that old IT roles need to morph into new cloud-type roles, which in many cases means wearing many hats and collaborating more,” Vorenkamp said.

Roles may have shifted, but few tech companies were forced to downsize. In fact, 25 percent of survey respondents in 2015 reported an organizational shift to cloud services resulted in the hiring of additional staff members.

Even with the increased focus on training and hiring cloud-ready professionals, the supply still hasn’t caught up to the demand. Management is desperate to add trained cloud employees-28 percent currently report a struggle to hire in the field. That number is up 6 percent from 2016. While skills shortages are hindering IT departments around the globe, this dire need for cloud experience presents a huge opportunity.

“Organizations have not been able to keep up in part because they are looking outside to hire talent, and the reality is we have a shortage of cloud-skilled IT resources,” Vorenkamp said. “This is why focusing on re-training existing in-house talent has to be a priority, too.”

IT professionals trained in cloud have the unique ability to fill gaps in organizations and are most often paid extremely well. Globally, cloud computing professionals have the fifth highest average salary. In the U.S. and Canada, cloud salary is first ($114,043) and edges out cybersecurity ($112,764) and Project Management ($95,878).

Thus, cloud training has been a hot commodity. Amazon Web Services offers cloud-based certifications that are rising in popularity and pay off financially. AWS Certified Solutions Architect



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