The Future Is In The Clouds With Cloud Computing

Cloud computingIf you are a leaving cert student, an IT graduate or somebody about to change career direction and you are heading in the direction of IT; well you might want to think about Cloud Computing. They say that cloud computing is key to the future of IT. Cloud Computing is an umbrella term for a number of different trends, all involving the internet and its’ potential to simplify the way we use computers and extend their capabilities. In everyday life, we witness cloud computing in action via global companies like Google and Facebook. Cloud computing is about putting more of your material out there and less on PCs or servers that a business runs for itself.

On one radio station recently; a cloud advocate told a very intrigued presenter that one Dublin hotel has embraced Cloud Computing. Asked, what benefit it will be to guests; she replied: ‘if you have watched a certain movie in one hotel, the next series or type of movie will be waiting for you in this hotel’. Impressed? Yes, he was.

New economic reports suggest that cloud computing in Ireland could create up to 20,000 jobs in the near future. It has transformative potential for the public and private sector and for small and large companies. Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, compares Cloud Computing to the electricity grid. Where once people generated their own electricity with a generator in their back yard – now we switch on an off to the national grid, pay for what we use but we have become more productive because of the amount of electricity available to us. Cloud computing will offer the same transformation through a high level of service. ‘It will spawn industries, and revolutionise our lives both socially and economically,’ according to Paul Rellis.

This is one area that Ireland potentially could take a lead on. This is one of those ‘emerging industries’ and it is the one to watch. The plan is that Cloud Services will be made available from Ireland and there will be a demand for cloud developers. The managing director of Microsoft believes that to cope with the shortage of IT graduates – the government needs to look at secondary level, to promote IT as a fantastic career that hasn’t felt the recession. ‘We are still not producing enough computer graduates,’ he emphasised. With the building blocks already in place, it is now a matter of building awareness of it and to address the skills shortage. There is a certain speed and urgency needed if Ireland is going to take a share of the market.

A Goodbodys report outlined the scale of opportunities that cloud computing could give us in financial terms. They estimate the market could be worth up to 110 billion; enough to lift this little Island out of a recession? Possibly. Barry O’Leary, the chief executive of IDA, Ireland, recently made the point that Cloud Computing will allow small and large companies to internationalise their offerings at greater speed and this in turn will create employment growth even outside of the growth within the Cloud Computing sector itself.

The next question is, where can you begin your cloud computing career?

Dublin Business School run a BA (Hons) Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing course. This is a specialised and innovative programme, which has been created to meet the needs of learners who seek to develop their knowledge and appreciation of concepts and frameworks of marketing with digital media at BA level. The programme is academically challenging and the course features a range of Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing subjects in which learners will be exposed to the latest cutting edge ideas, techniques and marketing frameworks through the analysis of industry best practice. The BA (Hons) Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing is aimed towards students interested in building a career in Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing within a technological skill base. Industry research indicates that there is an increasing demand from companies in this area and this degree provides these capabilities. The programme will develop in learners both knowledge and practical experience of Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing concepts. This programme, therefore, represents a rare opportunity for learners to shape their career paths in this exciting arena.

They also offer students the opportunity to study a BA (Hons) Business Information Systems with Cloud Computing. This course is intended to educate and prepare students for employment in information systems or cloud computing.  It will also provide students with a strong IT/IS knowledge, competence and skills in the technologies that underpin cloud computing. In relation to the specific skills requirement in the area of cloud computing, the January 2011 report by Goodbody’s Economic Consultants identifies that ‘the greatest benefit of cloud computing is as a source of exports, growth and jobs for the Irish economy’.  This report also identifies ‘the need for additional marketing, sales and technical staff with the relevant skills for cloud Computing, and a need for training for their current employees’ This new programme, the BA (Hons) Business Information Systems in Cloud Computing will provide students with a solid understanding in the technologies and languages that are used to design and develop applications for the cloud.  They will also understand the fundamental concepts and architecture of cloud computing.  Students will develop key skills in the use and application of current cloud computing platforms and how they are used to deploy web and other client applications to the Cloud.

Dorset College in Dublin run a Cloud Certified Professional (CCP™) nine week course. The Cloud Certified Professional (CCP™) program is dedicated to excellence in the fields of cloud computing technology, architecture, security, and governance. A collection of courses establish a set of vendor-neutral industry certifications for different areas of specialization. Founded by best-selling author, Thomas Erl, this curriculum enables IT professionals to develop real-world cloud computing proficiency. Because of the vendor-neutral focus of the course materials, the skills acquired by attaining certifications are applicable to any vendor or cloud platform.

This Cloud Certified Professional Course is suitable for those seeking to exploit the benefits of cloud computing technologies and assess the potential for cloud computing in their organisation. While there are no pre-requisites an understanding of XML Technologies or Enterprise IT Architecture is recommended.

There are also a number of postgraduate courses in various HEIs that prepare you for a career in Cloud Computing. Therefore if you are an IT graduate, this is an area worth researching further. With the continuous global media attention on Cloud Computing and with companies like Microsoft endorsing it; one is best advised to put their head in the clouds in this case. Yes, the future is bright for Cloud Computing graduates.

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