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Clearing the Cloud Part 4: Tweak Your Résumé

If you're working in the IT industry and not prepared to position yourself as a useful resource in the era of the cloud... well, I hope you have a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute?" sitting around.

Whether the cloud is the right thing or not for your company isn't really important. Some companies will make the right decision regarding the cloud, and many won't. The short-term attractiveness of the cloud's pricing model, if nothing else, will make many organizations take the plunge whether it's the right thing to do or not. Fight that decision when it's a bad call for the company; be prepared to benefit from the cloud whether it's the right thing to do or not. In other words, don't be caught flat-footed.

Start by making yourself a semi-expert on the cloud. What's the cost model? How does it compare to your internal costs? The fact is that most organizations haven't the foggiest notion why their IT department costs what it does -- they just see a giant number on the P&L every quarter. Show them a smaller number from "the cloud" and things start to look interesting, at least to a certain kind of manager. Money will always be the first driver in a cloud adoption, so if you think the cloud is a bad call for your organization, know the money answers. Know what IT costs and why, so that you can help promote a real apples-to-apples comparison.

Then, assume your organization will make the decision to push something out to the cloud anyway. Maybe they won't -- in which case you're fine. But maybe they will. And if you can't fight the decision with solid logic, then be prepared to benefit from the situation anyway. Get yourself skilled-up. No cloud-based solution offers zero management overhead; make sure you're the one who can be the hero.

Here's a simplistic example: Your company decides to go with Office 365 for e-mail and much of its SharePoint-based collaboration. Does that put you, the Exchange or SharePoint admin, our of a job? Possibly. But O365 still has management requirements. Someone has to create mailboxes and manage the service, which actually requires an unexpected amount of PowerShell command expertise. Make sure you're prepared to be indispensible when the cloud comes, and you'll be the one to keep your job.

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Posted by Don Jones on 02/13/2012 at 1:14 PM


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