Are you on the fence about choosing your specialization in the IT sciences? Perhaps you’re a technical recruiter who is looking to make a new hire. Or maybe you’re just curious to know, what is a cloud architect? Whichever is the case, you should find out more about the skills, traits, and areas of expertise that are essential for a cloud architect.
Why do companies need cloud architects?
In the era of rapidly progressing digitalization more and more businesses are getting rid of local, on-premises solutions in favor of cloud environments.
Because they recognize that cloud computing is an agile, scalable, and low-maintenance alternative to traditional IT infrastructure.
It doesn’t matter whether the company develops an app, provides online services, runs an e-shop, or just uses digital tools in everyday communication, there are various levels of cloud adoption to suit every need. For example, a small printing company will benefit from using cloud-based email service and office productivity apps suite (like G Suite). On the other hand, an aspiring technological start-up can build its entire product with one of these popular public clouds:
- Google Cloud Platform,
- Amazon Web Services,
- Microsoft Azure.
The biggest advantage of these solutions is that they take the burden of infrastructure maintenance off the shoulders of the in-house technical team. Projects can take up as much space and computing power as they need, while service providers like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon handle data centers. Cloud is nothing but the convenient outsourcing of servers that makes sense, as long as most of the internal processes inside the company take place online.
“At DevSkiller, we use Google Cloud Platform for most of our components. DevSkiller is a Cloud Native company running everything in the cloud and almost all of our applications run inside containers on Google Kubernetes Engine (our most used service). We store lots of data on Google Storage buckets while some workloads are still running on traditional virtual machines that we manage entirely from code. We use Terraform and everything is configured that way.”
~ Tomasz Cholewa, Head of Cloud Infrastructure at DevSkiller
The tendency of moving data to the cloud ripples through the job market. The aftermath of this digital revolution brought about the emergence of a group of highly specialized IT experts called cloud architects.
What is a cloud architect?
As a technical recruiter, it’s vital that you understand – what is a cloud architect? This means not only understanding the roles and responsibilities of the job but also recognizing the required skill set.
A Cloud Architect is the person in charge of a company’s cloud infrastructure and computing strategy. It is a relatively new branch of IT specialization that has grown from software development and is currently in very high demand.
Cloud architect job responsibilities
A cloud architect is an expert administrator of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. They develop dynamic solutions that provide a competitive edge to the company they work for.
A cloud architect’s daily duties include:
- Planning cloud adoption
- Designing cloud-based apps
- Supporting app creation and deployment in the cloud
- Cloud management and monitoring
Must-have skills for a cloud architect
Knowledge of IT systems on an enterprise-level
This can only be gained by experience, i.e. working on various IT projects and staying curious about how things work. That’s why the position of a cloud architect is rarely given to a fresh graduate.
High sense of responsibility
Cloud architects can never be entirely offline – even while on holidays. They cannot dismiss any form of suspicious behavior as to adequately protect their clients/company’s data. Remember: fire prevention is always more cost-effective than firefighting.
Cloud architects also should have technical competences in all of the following areas:
- Programming languages
- Application development
- Big data
- Containers (Docker or Kubernetes)
- Web technologies
- Optimization of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions
Teamwork and communication
A cloud architect works in a team in one way or another. If they lead an IT department, then a need to communicate clear aims and objectives. Additionally, a cloud architect is a person who explains complicated technical matters to their non-technical colleagues which means they need to be able to explain problems in layman’s terms.
Finally, cloud architects need to be experts in digital security. Launching sensitive data into the cloud that is managed by a third-party provider is always a risk. It’s vital that everyone involved in the process is aware of all the dangers associated with it, and familiar with the techniques of data protection.
Cloud architect salary
According to Glassdoor, the average cloud architect salary in the United States is $107,309 – at the time of publication. The average salary ranges from a low of $79,000 and highs of up to $142,000.
The Global Knowledge report highlighted the correlation between IT skills and salary level in 2019. The report found that people holding the Professional Cloud Architect certificate issued by Google have a chance for the best-paid positions in the technology industry. They can make as much as $175,761 a year.
Where to find a Professional Cloud Architect?
If you’re thinking about raising competences of your IT specialists or moving your company to the cloud then you have two options:
- Train some of your current employees in this area of expertise.
- Use the help of a company that specializes in cloud implementation and offers ongoing support.
In these scenarios, it’s best to look out for an official Google Cloud Premier Partner who can take care of the whole process of data migration and cloud configuration for you.
“My certification journey towards becoming a Professional Cloud Architect was one of the most rewarding challenges in my career. I would recommend this path of expertise to any IT enthusiast who wants to ensure that their skills will stay relevant and in high-demand for many years to come.”
~ Marcin Chojnacki, Chief Technical Officer at Fly On The Cloud
Cloud architecture is a relatively new area of expertise that’s gaining major traction in the IT industry. As technical recruiters, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of this quickly progressing field if you want to serve your clients in the best possible way. This means not only understanding a cloud architect’s roles and responsibilities but also keeping up to date with salary benchmarks and developing technologies within the field.