How to Become a Cloud Architect

Myles Brown | Thursday, March 12, 2020

How to Become a Cloud Architect

Cloud architecture is among the latest technological trends that continue to skyrocket in popularity because of how dynamically it allows companies to operate. The companies that passed on making a digital transformation to incorporate cloud infrastructure a few years ago are now scrambling to hire top talent in cloud computing to build their systems.

Cloud computing trends are driving the implementation of enterprise cloud manager and multi-cloud features, as well as the mainstreaming of application containers, subjective abstraction and more. Simply put, automation is here to stay . However, with new cloud computing trends popping up every quarter, organizations are still finding it difficult to fill roles on their team in order to keep up with modernization demands, which is why cloud architecture is a lucrative career path to get into.

Cloud Computing By the Numbers:

  • As many as 84 percent of enterprises run on a multi-cloud strategy.
  • In 2018, public cloud adoption grew to 92 percent.
  • Serverless computing had a market share of 50 percent in 2018, making it the fastest-growing extended cloud service.
  • Cloud initiatives are expected to account for 70 percent of all tech spending by 2020.
  • Infrastructure as a service is expected to reach $72.4 billion worldwide by 2020.
  • The global cloud computing market is forecast to exceed $650 billion by 2025.
  • As much as 80 percent of organizations are predicted to migrate toward the cloud by 2025.

According to the latest statistics on the tech industry, the total expenditure on cloud computing worldwide in 2019 was projected to hit $210 billion, an increase of 23.8 percent compared to 2018 forecasts. The U.S. comes in on top as the largest cloud computing market, with expected expenditures of over $124 billion. Having experience in major cloud or technology brands that most organizations use such as AWS, VMware, IBM, Google, and more is important to your success. 

What Is a Cloud Architect?

Cloud architecture is a young discipline. Its beginnings are in software development, but today’s cloud architects are focused primarily on the big picture rather than singular implementation tasks. They create design plans for complex cloud environments while working with a cloud engineer to put the cloud architecture into development. The cloud architect provides guidance throughout the implementation to ensure the vision is being followed.

In addition to possessing adept project-management skills, a cloud architect must also have a firm grasp of advanced concepts while lending their expertise on cloud technology to the engineering team. And the cloud architect doesn’t move on from the project once it’s done. They serve as the point of contact for questions regarding the entire system/environment for its entire lifecycle.

Cloud architects also have to be business-savvy because they function as a liaison between the management and engineering teams. They must relay the needs of the company to the engineering team while understanding how to communicate the scope of the work involved and determining if support is required. The architect will also make the final decision on required vendors and technologies based on what’s best for the company.

Common Job Responsibilities of Cloud Architects:

  • Assess software, hardware and applications
  • Lead a team of cloud engineers
  • Craft best practices for company cloud use
  • Select viable cloud providers and vet third-party affiliate partners
  • Mitigate risk and oversee the cloud system
  • Manage costs and budget of cloud operations
  • Work with IT personnel to ensure data privacy and develop appropriate response procedures

Top Cloud Computing Certifications

1. AWS Cloud Architect Solutions

An AWS cloud architecture certification leads the pack in demand for core cloud architecture skills. It focuses on preparing candidates for certification with regard to operations, best practices and recommended design patterns. This professional certification enables you to design and deploy cloud structures on AWS and teaches you the basic concepts necessary to build on other environments. Once certified, you become a polished cloud expert who can plan and execute solutions that meet company and client requirements, recommend a suitable architecture for implementing AWS apps and issue expert guidance throughout the life of a project.

If you want to pursue a career in building AWS cloud architecture, you can expect to be paid well, too. While cloud administrators can earn up to $75,000 annually and their developer counterparts can earn around $110,000, a certified AWS cloud architect is typically paid the most, earning around $129,000.

AWS is quickly taking over the cloud computing market. In 2019, Q3 saw revenues of $8.99 billion, with AWS contributing 11 percent of Amazon’s total revenue, a consistent figure throughout previous quarters. Synergy Research argues that AWS still holds a third of the market, with its 34-percent growth. According to estimates, Microsoft, for whom Azure grew 62 percent, has risen by up to three percentage points year over year.

AWS also recently announced a major partnership with Verizon, which is seen as part of the company’s move to roll out AWS Wavelength, a service that aims to offer ultra-low latency applications for 5G devices.

2. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Associate (CCNA)

Cisco offers comprehensive cloud training and certification programs, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Through these certification programs, IT professionals acquire vital skills in cloud engineering, network engineering and cloud administration.

3. VMware Certified Professional 7, Cloud Management and Automation (VCP7-CMA)

If you are looking to sharpen your skills in cloud virtualization, then VMware is the platform for you. VCP7-CMA for vRealize and vSphere 6.5 — teaches you the skills required to plan the structure of the cloud via data virtualization.

4. Microsoft Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

This Microsoft cloud certification recognizes the candidates’ know-how in network virtualization, identity and systems management, data management and storage and affiliate cloud facilities.

Earn a Cloud Architect Certification with ExitCertified

Since 2001, we’ve’ provided expert-led IT training programs with over 9,500 courses available by 25 tech brands, helping you maximize your potential. Our training is available online from virtual instructors, or you can attend classes at one of our state-of-the-art IT training facilities. We are also one of North America’s top providers of group training for private and public organizations.

With ExitCertified, you can take the next step in your cloud computing career, with several vendor-authorized programs to choose from. Start your training journey today to become a certified cloud architect.

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