Technical terms such as “virtualize,” “ease-of-use,” “scalability” and “optimized utilization” are often associated with cloud computing. Business phrases such as “increased profitability,” “flexibility” and “cost controls” are equally associated with the cloud. Realizing the true meaning and benefit of any one of these is dependent on having trained and knowledgeable IT professionals.
The operative word here is “professional.” While many IT pros working for solution providers and end users know a lot of about virtualization, data center architecture and management, network operations and so on, few have put together all the pieces for cloud.
CompTIA’s new Cloud Essentials certification is one of the first accreditations that reflects a practitioner’s business and technical knowledge of cloud computing. The need is acute, as more solution providers are building cloud computing practices, and end-user organizations can’t get enough cloud. CompTIA found more than 10,000 IT job postings that specifically mentioned cloud computing. Over the next three years, cloud computing will grow to $150 billion marketplace.
For nearly a year and a half, CompTIA has harbored the idea of creating a cloud certification. It’s been working with members of its Cloud Computing Community, as well as leading cloud vendors, including Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Rackspace to identify the critical technical and business elements. The actual certification was developed collaboratively with ITpreneurs, a leading provider of competence development solutions for IT best practices.
CompTIA, which was built on the industry adoption of A+ and Security+ certifications, is aiming to give IT pros a way to demonstrate their skills in the next-generation marketplace. It may also pave the way for the next-generation solution provider professional services offerings.
The underlying technology of the cloud is pretty well known and covered through a variety of CompTIA and other organization’s certifications. What’s often missing from these curriculums are the business and operational aspects of running a cloud. As cloud adoption increases, solution providers will need to know the business impact, process modifications and true potential outcomes of cloud implementations.
Already, solution providers are being called upon to perform cloud assessments. While many of those assessments are steep in the technology required to make a cloud perform well, an equal if not greater number of assessments are about helping businesses make the right, smart cloud choices. Rarely is this a technology discussion – it’s a business discussion that boils IT and cloud down to value delivered and return on investment. Certifications in networking or virtualization aren’t good enough for such practices.
The CompTIA Cloud Essentials may be the first of several new certifications that will usher in a new era of qualifications and professional services enablement.
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