IT teams have had two big challenges in the past few years; one general and one more specific. First, in common with all other corporate functions, IT teams have been asked to work faster and become more agile, to keep up with colleagues who themselves are also being asked to complete work more quickly, and at a time when internal processes are slowing down. Second, digitization is reshaping nearly every aspect of the way a big company runs itself and, because technological change is the fundamental cause of this, IT is the part of the company that has had to change the most.
One of the many implications of all this change has been for IT to increase its investment in cloud computing services in a bid to help ideas get to market more quickly, to scale an IT service up or down in response to heightened volatility, and to adapt to changing business needs.
In spite of years of concerns about cloud security and accounting rules, IT functions are still investing in cloud solutions with confidence, and IT managers are introducing new roles to manage all of it.
IT functions are creating three roles in particular to cope with the increased cloud investment, according to CEB data.
Cloud solutions architect: In 2016, 50% of organizations reported having a cloud solutions architect, and another 18% expected to have the position within 12-18 months.
The cloud solutions architect (also known as the cloud engineer or cloud specialist) is responsible for working with internal and external stakeholders to ensure public and private cloud services are as cost effective as possible, and have the functionality that the business requires.
Cloud security architect: In 2016, 41% of IT functions reported having a cloud security architect, and another 28% anticipated having the position within the next 12-18 months.
The cloud security architect is responsible for evaluating and mitigating the risk to IT systems and applications from the use of cloud-based services.
DevOps engineer: In 18 months, 74% of organizations anticipate having a DevOps engineer. These engineers help to synchronize communication between IT applications and IT infrastructure teams to help with the “continuous delivery” of IT projects.
The overall shift towards DevOps ways of working allows IT to take advantage of the benefits of applications teams working on different “building blocks” of their projects and cloud-based infrastructure technologies.