By Myra Thomas
As enterprises rally their IT departments around cloud governance, the demand for experienced architects with governance expertise is on the rise.
“We’re certainly still in the very early stages of the conversation around cloud governance,” says Eric Marks, President and CEO of AgilePath, a management and consulting firm that handles cloud strategy, management and governance. But, he observes, the need for experts inside and outside the enterprise is already becoming clear.
For IT departments, a shift to the cloud means that jobs and job duties, especially around governance, have to expand. Enterprise architects may speak the tech side of cloud computing, but they also need to understand the theoretical underpinnings of best practices for governance of public, private and hybrid cloud models. The biggest mistake is the siloing of governance, says Marks. “Cloud governance policy has to be taken in the context of the existing governance framework for IT and business operations.”
A Transformative Movement
In other words, governance has to sit at the base of the IT transformation, especially as the push to the cloud accelerates at a rapid pace. According to IDC, global spending on public cloud services is expected to hit $100 billion in 2016. “By 2015, one of every seven dollars spent on packaged software, server, and storage offerings will be through the public cloud model,” the researcher says.
Not surprisingly, enterprise cloud architects are gaining prominence, and the role of an experienced cloud architect remains critical not only inside, but now outside the enterprise at cloud management and governance service providers. These companies are also adding cloud services portfolio managers. Inside the enterprise, the CIO role is expanding to include managing the portfolio of service providers. “Someone has to oversee the cloud catalog and cloud portfolio,” Marks explains.
For architects, it helps to take a step back and look at the drivers around cloud computing and recognize the service that now needs to be delivered by IT.
“Cloud governance is really about the consumption of services and not the delivery of services,” says James Urquhart, Dell’s Director of Products, Cloud Management. The shift is from an infrastructure-centric operation to an application-centric one.
In May, Dell acquired Enstratius, an enterprise cloud-management software and services provider. The move is a critical one for Dell as it moves from focusing on PCs to expanding its capabilities to offer cloud-management solutions. In a press release, the company said its plan is to “continue to invest in additional engineering and sales capability to grow this business.”
This “new class of service,” says Urquhart, requires a new breed of IT professional. Today, there’s a push away from people who know services and operating systems to those who know the cloud and how to run cloud-based applications. “The need now is for people who can think about multifaceted security capabilities for applications and data and the transport of information across the Internet,” he says.