Use the Cloud to Your Career Advantage

Susan Hall
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13 of Today's Hottest Tech Skills

Highlights of the most in-demand skills and their growth over the past year.

Addressing whether cloud computing will cost IT pros their jobs, Microsoft's Jeff Vance makes a point that I've seen before: Some jobs will be lost while others will be created.


After Paul Krugman wrote a New York Times piece about the "hollowing out" of the market into low-level and very high-level jobs, but with no middle, writer Rajan Chandras at InformationWeek made the point that technology will drive advances in the concept of skilled labor.


Vance's post at Forbes seems partially in response to this one at InfoWorld entitled, "Will Office 365 get you fired?" The bundled subset of features from Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010 requires much less management, and you would think that's a good thing, but it's got IT admins worried about their jobs.


InfoWorld writer J. Peter Bruzzese, however, says it merely means those admins have to reinvent themselves:

I see this as the end of the era of the Exchange admin/god. ... While retaining your on-premises savvy, you need to learn how to play nice with cloud-based Exchange through Office 365 as well. You should also diversify your knowledge and look into solutions such as Unified Messaging, Lync, and SharePoint. They all fall within Microsoft's Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) focus, and your skills with these technologies will add to your value in the workplace. In the end, if you fix your attention in the right direction, you may not lose your position, but rather, cement it firmly.

That's in line with the advice my college Ann All wrote about: Be the automator, not the automated.


Vance urges CIOs will get out front in the cloud, rather than waiting to see how things shake out. He writes:

... a CIO who no longer has budgetary approval for an Exchange admin might fare better seeking money for "cloud liaisons," "cloud security administrators," or "mobility managers." How about "mobile email security administrator?" Plenty of companies need those, even if they don't realize it yet. And the smart Exchange admin is already repositioning to take advantage of these future staffing gaps.

He says IT pros and CIOs alike have to be focused on using the cloud for strategic advantage because their competitors certainly are.

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