What are the cloud technologies that IT professionals need to focus on in 2023?
Ken Krueger: Well, I think the hot topics are currently subjects like machine learning, DevOps and data lakes and things like that. But I think in 2023, we're going to see a lot of emphasis on cost management. Because of this, I think the most important skill to master in 2023 will be how to architect and operate cloud environments in a cost effective way. And we haven't seen that in recent years. We've had a lot of students come through where their organizations are moving to the cloud at any cost as quickly as possible. So cost hasn't been the main driver. And I think the thinking was that the growth of the business would cover any inefficiency in their cloud operations. And now we're in a low-growth environment. So I don't think that's going to be the case anymore, especially as businesses start to make hard choices such as layoffs.Why should organizations learn to create cost-effective cloud environments?
Ken Krueger: Well, the myth has always been that the cloud automatically saves you costs. But if you use the cloud for any period of time, you quickly find out that that's not the case. What the cloud brings is a different consumption model. So you're in an OpEx world versus a CapEx world. So now it's possible to greatly reduce your cost, but it's not going to come automatically. You're going to have to work for it. You have to deliberately architect solutions to take advantage of the new consumption model. And this is not something that those of us in IT know how to do naturally. So in short, you have to be trained on it. And this is important because businesses often cut their training budgets first when they're under financial pressure. But if you are able to gain a real cost optimization in your cloud usage, you can easily justify the training cost to achieve it.What courses should IT professionals take to gain skills in the cloud?
Ken Krueger: Well, I think first and foremost, it's critical to have a solid understanding of your cloud architecture fundamentals. And this is going to vary depending on which cloud you're actually using. So if you are in the AWS world, you want to take Architecting on AWS if you haven't already. So that class alone could reveal to you some of the things that you're doing that are not cost effective. And that course is not intended as a cost-management course. It's intended as a general architecture principle course. One course that is intended for that is AWS Cloud Financial Management for Builders. So it's specifically designed for building solutions with cost management in mind. If you are in the Azure camp, make sure you take Microsoft Azure Administrator, also known as AZ-104. So as in the AWS case, this is not a class that's intended primarily for cost management, but it covers the cost management principles as part of understanding the nature of the cloud environment. If you are in the Google world, make sure that you take Architecting with Google Compute Engine. So in all cases, you want to get the fundamentals down, learn the nature of the cloud environment, so you can take advantage of the consumption model.