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It has been over 20 years since Microsoft introduced their first IT Certifications. Since then, certifications have become a key element for businesses to identify industry specific capabilities within IT. In recent years businesses are moving in a new direction, towards the cloud. New technologies have spawned new certifications across different systems and technologies. Businesses and IT professionals need to prepare for the future.
What do Azure, Google Docs, Dropbox, the Hadoop framework and Gmail all have in common? They’re all a part of the cloud. ‘Cloud’ is a buzzword these days in IT and business, but few business owners understand what the word represents. The cloud could be the way in which you store and share presentations and spreadsheets between colleagues on google drive, or it could even be managed servers that you have pushing your data across offices around the country. Cloud computing, cloud storage, and cloud applications are all examples where the main tasks of computing and data storage have been removed from a static site, and happen across the internet and large networks on specialized servers and hardware.
Certifications play a critical role, especially because IT by nature is forever evolving. With the growing adoption of cloud computing, businesses have the need for new skillsets. That’s where cloud certifications come in. IT industry certifications are usually highly specialized. Certifications like the Google Apps Certified Administrator prove that an individual can bring valuable knowledge and experience to a part of your business that needs it the most.
Business owners and IT professionals should see cloud certifications as an investment. Businesses will find certified professionals to be assets as a cloud based network expands, and plays a more prominent role in their business. Many practices and ideas are transferrable between technologies, and even professionals with vendor neutral certifications will prove valuable to a business that’s investing in the cloud.
Where companies are dealing with specific technologies like Google Apps, then the relevant qualifications are more important. These specialized qualifications are a strong indicator to employers that a candidate has the necessary skillset to support and grow their platforms and infrastructure.
Cloud certifications prove competency. That is the true value in them. The majority of certifications deal with specific technologies, so for business owners, staying up to date with the certifications is essential. In most cases your vendors can suggest what certifications the ideal support staff should possess. For IT professionals the choices are harder to make. Focusing on a particular area of interest, but studying across as many technologies as possible will be a huge advantage. Technologies like Google Apps, Microsoft Azure, and VMWare are heavily in demand when it comes to support personnel.
Whatever side of the coin you’re on, cloud technologies are here to stay, and the demand for qualifications will only increase in the future. Over the next five years, cloud certifications are going to become just as important as traditional certifications have been over the past two decades. The question for business owners and IT professionals is: are you prepared?