Cloud computing has already started to change the way organisations think about their approach to IT. A new paradigm is emerging: one that is flexible, cost-effective and supports tactical and strategic objectives within the business. Cloud computing clears the path for innovation and agility in provision of IT services. But the big changes have barely started.
Currently, organisations that have fully embraced and implemented a cloud strategy are still in the minority. Only 3 per cent of CIOs have the majority of IT running in the cloud or on SaaS technologies, but over the next four years CIOs expect this number to increase to 43 per cent.*
Although the thinking behind cloud computing is in many ways revolutionary, the process of change within the IT organisation is likely to be evolutionary. And although cloud purists dream of a world where every instance of computing and storage will take place in the cloud, the reality is that a hybrid cloud/on-premise model will emerge as the new reality for many organisations. For IT professionals considering their own status in a rapidly changing environment, the implications are profound. In a recent Microsoft survey of IT professionals, 59 per cent of respondents said that “they are just beginning to familiarise themselves with the cloud.”
Put bluntly, the role of the IT professional is about to be transformed, demanding a new set of technical and managerial skills, blurring the lines between business and technical decision making and placing IT much closer to the heart of business strategy.
Whether this change represents a threat or an opportunity will be largely determined by each individual IT professional’s readiness to acquire new skills and knowledge. In any event, the fact is this: maintaining the status quo is not an option. This paper aims to set out a broad outline of the ways in which the role of the IT professional will change over the next few years, the skills and training required to adapt to these changes, and an overview of the ways in which new Microsoft certification programs will help to make this transition.
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