While cloud computing has been gaining importance from several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated its growth further
At the simplest level, cloud computing refers to the on-demand availability of computer system resources and services such as storage, databases, software, and analytics. These are delivered via ‘clouds’ that are housed in data centres across multiple locations spread throughout the globe. Cloud computing offers several advantages such as scalability, flexibility, cost savings, remote access to infrastructure, mobility, etc.
While cloud computing technologies have been steadily gaining significance for over a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably accelerated their growth across the globe. A Markets and Markets report estimates that the cloud computing market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5% to touch USD 832.1 billion by 2025. Similarly Gartner expects worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion.
The COVID-19 crisis and accompanying social distancing norms forced professionals across the globe to stay home for extended periods of time. This created a greater demand for remote working capabilities and collaboration technologies in order to maintain business continuity.
At the same time, there was growing demand for online entertainment through video streaming platforms. OTT platforms like Netflix and Hotstar were seen to disrupt traditional models of television-cable and movie-cinema ecosystems. This brought to the fore the role of cloud in not just making conventional IT networking architecture more efficient, but also giving rise to tech enabled business models that could disrupt status quo and serve customers much better with instant gratification and real time interactivity.
All these factors further helped spur the demand for cloud computing. With enterprises realizing the many advantages of cloud computing and seeing its adoption as critical to survival, this demand is only set to grow in the future.
Demand for Cloud Computing Professionals
The rapid growth in cloud adoption has also thrown up a greater demand for trained cloud professionals. As per a recent NASSCOM report titled ‘Cloud Skills: Powering India’s Digital DNA’, India will need 20 lakh cloud professionals by 2025. With the current baseline growth, India is expected to produce only an estimated 14-15 lakh cloud professionals by this timeline. This showcases the need for a fairly aggressive skilling roadmap for cloud computing in India.
The NASSCOM report also stated that job openings for cloud roles in India touched 380,000 in 2020, a 40 per cent growth over 2019. Already, the demand for cloud skills is far greater than the current availability of skilled professionals. Therefore, for aspiring professionals, cloud computing offers an exciting and fruitful career option.
Roles in Cloud Computing
Typically, a cloud engineer is responsible for all the technical aspects of cloud computing including planning and design, maintenance, and support. There are several paths that one can explore including: Cloud developer, front-end/back-end developer, solutions architect, cloud architect, data engineer, security engineer, development operations engineer, full-stack developer, SysOps administrator etc.
For aspiring cloud professionals, the first and foremost step towards building a career as a cloud engineer is to gain proficiency in at least one of the major cloud computing platforms such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Also, it is useful to learn data-oriented programming languages, such as Python, Java, and Clojure that are used widely in cloud computing. Next, the focus can be on understanding the various specialty areas within cloud such as Storage and Networking, Virtualization and Operating Systems, Security and Disaster Recovery, Web Services and DevOps etc. Based on this understanding, one can dive deeper into the area that they find most interesting and engage in more structured study in that area.
With rapid digitization and the growing awareness about the advantages of cloud and allied technologies, adoption is set to grow rapidly, especially in the new normal. With the right talent and skill sets, professionals can tap into the massive opportunities at hand. India is well positioned to build its identity as the global hub for cloud solutions. Talented and skilled professionals have a huge part to play in realizing this vision.
The article has been written by Kashyap Dalal, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Simplilearn