It’s called "cloud computing" for a reason: Like real clouds in the sky, virtual clouds are pervasive and far-reaching. They also can cast long shadows. Those same clouds are powering more aspects of our digital lives and shifting the focus to essential skills workers need to succeed in the future.
Robert Half Technology, a human resources consulting firm, recently asked more than 2,800 IT leaders to name their most critical business concerns. Cloud computing ranked as the most important skill in their workforce training. The managers counted cloud security, cloud computing and cloud architecture as three of the top five IT skills they need most.
This revelation flies in the face of those who expect widespread job losses as a result of more companies turning to cloud services.
"The public conversation about technology taking jobs instills fear in a lot of people," said Mike Leone, senior analyst at IT research firm Enterprise Strategy Group.
"I do not view it that way whatsoever."
Like other technologies before it, including the cotton gin, the telephone and the automobile, cloud computing might eliminate some jobs, Leone acknowledges. But it also will create many new ones.
Origins of Sharing Computing
Some trace the roots of cloud computing back more than 60 years, when computers were large, expensive and relatively rare. Computer scientist John McCarthy came up with the idea of "time sharing," whereby multiple users could split a single computer via remote terminals.