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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Organisational roles and skills


If an organization is really serious about benefiting from cloud computing, they need to create some new roles or modify existing job descriptions to focus on cloud computing.

(Note: I am using the terms organizations/businesses to refer the entities that “consume” cloud services. They exclude the service providers.)

In this blog I will explore what we need, and the current market demands.

What are the roles the organizations need?


We need roles at a strategic level (external focusing and creating long term roadmaps), operational level and technical level.



Cloud Strategist:

Cloud Strategist understands the core competencies of the organization, scans the external environment, advises the leadership team about the core business processes that can be moved to cloud, creates a long term roadmap.

Cloud Solution Architect:

Cloud Solution Architect translates the vision into solution. This person will have more technical knowledge than the Cloud Strategist. Cloud Solution Integration is one of the key challenges the Solution Architect will address.

Cloud Technologist:

Technical person who understands the technical nuts and bolts of cloud computing. They can convert legacy applications to private cloud platform. The new applications they create will be “cloud ready”.

Skills definition using SFIA:

Let us expand the above roles in terms of Skills Framework for Information Age (SFIA). (http://www.sfia.org.uk/). SFIA is a widely accepted definition of IT skills. The skills get updated periodically in consultation with the industry. As we speak, SFIA is getting revised to version 5. There may be some specific skills to address cloud computing. While we wait, let us do our home work.

I have slightly modified the SFIA skills to create cloud computing specific roles:

Cloud Strategist:

SFIA Skill: Enterprise Architecture (STPL)

Leads the creation and review of cloud capability strategy which meets the strategic requirements of the business. Identifies the business benefits of alternative strategies. Develops enterprise-wide architecture and processes which ensure that the strategic application of change is embedded in the management of the organisation. Establishes the contribution cloud computing can make to business objectives, conducting feasibility studies, producing high-level business models, preparing business cases, taking into account as necessary any implications of systems considered. Ensures compliance between business strategies, enterprise transformation activities and technology directions, setting strategies, policies, standards and practices.

SFIA Skill: Emerging Technology Monitoring (EMRG)

Monitors the market to gain knowledge and understanding of currently emerging cloud computing services.

Evaluates likely relevance of cloud computing services for the organisation. Provides regular briefings to staff and management.

SFIA Skill: Business Risk Management (BURM)

Plans and manages the implementation of organisation-wide processes and procedures, tools and techniques for the identification, assessment, and management of risk inherent in the operation of business processes and of potential risks arising from implementing or subscribing to cloud computing services.

Cloud Solution Architect:

SFIA Skill: Solution Architecture (ARCH)

Leads the development of cloud architectures, ensuring consistency with specified requirements agreed with both external service providers, and internal customers. Establishes policy and strategy for the selection of systems architecture components, and co-ordinates design activities, promoting the discipline to ensure consistency. Ensures that appropriate standards (corporate, industry, national and international) are adhered to. Within a business change programme, manages the target design, policies and standards, working proactively to maintain a stable, viable architecture and ensure consistency of design across projects within the programme.

Cloud Technologist:

This becomes a specialist role depending upon the platform the organization is planning to use. Some of the prominent vendor technologies in this space are:

  • VM Ware
  • Citirix
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), EC2
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Apps

What are the current job requirements?

I did a quick scan at the career website, “seek”. (http://www.seek.com.au/) I analysed 20 jobs. .

Here is split according the categories:

It is obvious that the Service Providers driving the market with their pre-sales consultants. You can see in the table, out of 20 jobs, 19 jobs were required by the Service Providers. There seems to be only one business (Financial Services company) who required Project Managers to implement a cloud solution.

Here are the profile of the jobs :

Job Title Category Skills Organisation
Cloud Infrastructure Engineer Technical Citrix/Win/VMWare Service Provider
Team leader Operational Team management Service Provider
Sales Executive Sales marketing and sales Service Provider
Technical presales consultant Sales marketing and sales Service Provider
Systems Engineer Technical Lotus Notes/Domino, MS Exchange Service Provider
Technical business analyst Solution Architect UML, BPM, Web development, Database Service Provider
Cloud Engineer Technical Messaging, Lotus notes, domio, Exchange Service Provider
Cloud Account Manager Sales telecom software solutions selling Service Provider
Solution Architect- Cloud Operational Citrix/Win/VMWare Service Provider
Technical Writer Documentation    Service Provider
Executive consultant-Strategy Strategy    Service Provider
Sales Specialist Sales Sales Service Provider
ERP/CRM Consultant (Cloud platform) Sales Sales Service Provider
Senior Channel Manager/Cloud Solutions Sales Sales Service Provider
Project Manager – Cloud Computing Operational Centralised Security Management – ISO 27001 Financial Services
Presales consultant – hosting and cloud Sales Sales Service Provider
VMWare Systems Engineer Technical VMWare Service Provider
Service Delivery Manager Operational Service Delivery – Account, CRM, Team management Service Provider
Cloud Computing Software Architect Solution Architect Amazon EC2 Service Provider
Cloud Architect Strategy Enterprise Architecture Service Provider


If the market is “consuming” cloud services, this profile will change. We can expect to see more requirements from the businesses to fill their needs in the strategic, operational and technical level in the future.

Mean while, please review your IT department’s job descriptions and prepare yourself for the future.


SFIA Foundation, http://www.sfia.org.uk/, viewed 6th July 2011

SEEK – Australia’s no 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment web site, http://www.seek.com.au/, viewed 6th July 2001






About Murali Ramakrishnan

Murali is the Managing Director of the boutique consulting firm "Process-Symphony". Process-Symphony specializes in IT enabled business process orchestration. http://www.process-symphony.com.au http://www.kloudax.net.au


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