Cloudy With A Chance Of Financial Gain

I’m seeing more and more indications that Corporate America is ready to embrace the cloud in a major way. Most recently I came across the following infographic which shows the difference in average annual salary between “cloud” professionals and their non-cloud colleagues.  My first reaction to this was a certain degree of disgust that the simple addition of the non-adjective “cloud” to a legitimate position title would make over ten percent salary premiums possible. This was especially true given that so many of the challenges we’ve faced in the past regarding resource scaling for both compute and storage are easily resolved in cloud environments.

But as I thought about some of the unique challenges introduced by cloud platforms and the business risks introduced by moving business critical functionality and information outside the firewall and off of corporate owned resources, I realized that it may be wise for organizations to pay premium rates for proven cloud expertise. Of course, my cynicism isn’t so easily satisfied — how many of those who have cloud-seeded their resumes and job titles actually have the expertise their employers believe they are getting?  How can employees prove their worth?  And how can employers verify “cloud” claimed expertise before it is too late? With the opportunity so great and the stakes so high, perhaps this premium is a worthwhile investment.

Of course, there are always certifications. I have acquired several over the years. Some are a good indication of my proficiency in a particular tool set or skill, but others aren’t even worth their nicely embossed paper. I suppose that, like so many other things, one must consider the source.  I would probably put more stock in a certification from a major cloud platform provider like Google or an authorized Google training provider than I would from some generic cloud certification program. At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to those claiming cloud expertise to prove that they deserve their premium wage by delivering on the promise and hype of cloud platform solutions.  For those who can back up their claims, the rewards seem clear.  Who would have thought with “cloud” in the forecast, the future would look so bright?