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Gear up for cloudy days

Cloud computing is changing the way businesses operate, besides throwing open a whole new world of opportunities for aspiring IT professionals

education Updated: Jun 04, 2014 12:58 IST
Harini Sriram

According to a study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by Microsoft, cloud computing is set to create about two million jobs in India by 2015. This is good news for those interested in a career in the world of cloud-based applications and networks. Firstly, though, it is important to clarify what a cloud is, as cloud computing is used broadly to refer to any web-based platform.

What is a cloud?

As Udai Singh, executive vice president, NIIT Ltd, points out, “The term cloud appears to have its origins in network diagrams that represented the internet, or various parts of it, as schematic clouds. Cloud computing was a term coined when applications and services were moved into the internet cloud.

Cloud computing refers to the many different types of services and applications being delivered in the internet cloud, and more recently, it refers to the fact that the devices used to access these services and applications on cloud do not require any special functions.

It means increased capacity or added capabilities on demand without investing in a new infrastructure, or training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.”

Raju Vagesna, chief evangelist at Zoho Corporation, a company that specialises in creating applications for a variety of online businesses, likens a cloud to a bank, where data is centrally stored and accessed. “Cloud computing refers to the infrastructure, database, servers, etc in the cloud,” he says, “while cloud applications refer to apps that run on a cloud, such as some native mobile apps and games.”

Evolution of the Cloud

Cloud computing is still in its nascent stages in the country; however, it is set to be a game changer, with a number of online businesses and large companies taking to the cloud. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, Mindtree, Wipro, Amazon, HP, Flipkart, etc, and a number of online business start-ups have been using cloud computing to simplify their operations. As per industry experts, the cloud computing market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 54.5% over the period from 2011 to 2015.

Singh says,“The Indian government has also started using cloud to benefit masses and launched projects like Aadhar, National Population Register, National Rural Heath Mission, M-NREGA, etc. In fact, top IT companies either use cloud computing to manage their existing IT infrastructure or they have been servicing their clients and helping them migrate to the cloud. In the individual space, all of us who use mobile apps on smartphones and other mobile device are also consumers of the cloud.”

Career prospects

Neeti Sharma, senior vice president and co-founder, IIJT-Teamlease Services, says, “There are two categories of cloud computing careers that seem to be emerging in this space: positions seeking IT professionals with specific cloud skills and positions looking for IT admins with cloud architecture know-how. Cloud architecture jobs are typically posted as cloud solution architect or other descriptive terms. Job posters are looking for strategic knowledge of most cloud computing technology and providers, and the ability to form those clouds to fit enterprise goals or needs.”

Singh points out that knowledge of cloud computing is crucial not just for freshers but also for IT professionals across domains.

Annual salaries for freshers in this domain may vary from Rs. 1.25 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh while experienced people can command upto Rs. 16 lakh a year or more.