"We've seen in the security industry years later when 911 brought cyber-terrorism to the forefront. Then infrastructure and auditing with the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002," says Foote. It's happening more recently in HIT (Healthcare Information Technology) with EMRs (Electronic Medical Records), IDC-10 and compliance issues.
What this means, Foote says, "We're now in this period of rapid evolution. It hasn't shaken out yet. The cloud market is in transition and hasn't ordained or adopted a set of jobs or skills that you can call cloud skills. Companies are totally confused on what they are going to do from a human capital perspective."
One Cloud Role Already Paying Off
That said, Foote Partners has identified one certification for which employers are paying a premium. EMC Cloud Architect, Foote says, is paying between a 10-14% (of base pay) premium.
Foote says he suspects that cloud architect will likely be the first break-out role as companies realize the need of an architectural eye when building a long term plan. Companies can waste a lot of money only to wind up at a dead-end if they don't begin with an architecture perspective.
"Companies have gotten religion the hard way when they didn't architect very well. They paid for it time and jobs have been lost over it. These people [architects] have to fit cloud computing into some current architecture that they've got," says Foote.
The answer, says Foote: "That cloud training is essentially cross-training. Taking people with skills in different areas of infrastructure, development, architecture, networking, server configuration or administration and then adding a set of skills into those people to make them a different flavor of the specialist that they once were."
Foote says that over the next 12-18 months, we will start seeing hard data that will begin to show how and where different companies are spending their money. This will give insight into where the market is going to settle.
As for the future of cloud computing roles, Foote says, "We believe growth in the cloud will come mainly from in-house training. A lot of the best cloud people will come out of your own internal training efforts"