I read an interesting blog about how the emergence of cloud computing may result in a wide range of new titles and responsibilities. I'll touch on some of those that were listed and include a few that I see emerging as well.
One such role/title that's cropped up is CTO of Cloud Computing, a designation that's held by Lewis Tucker at Cisco, according to a recent Fortune article. Tucker describes his role as one where he has "to make sure that (cloud) disruption happens in a very positive way - that we can use it as an opportunity."
Cloud computing is disruptive, both for technology vendors such as Cisco that have traditionally relied on a premise-based model for selling IT gear as well as for the IT organizations that buy and use technologies. We're only in the infant stages of cloud computing, so it's tough to say what type of long-range impact it will have on the traditional IT organization. It's a safe bet that those IT professionals who spot the opportunities in the cloud that mesh with their strengths and then develop the skills needed face a more secure future.
But I digress. Even though it's early days in the cloud, I would suspect that perhaps only a handful of people like Tucker would be officially designated as CTO of the Cloud. That type of title and the responsibilities associated with it make sense for large technology providers such as Cisco that are banking on doing a lot of business in the cloud. But for customer IT organizations such as banks, retailers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, etc. that would be tapping the cloud for support, it seems like a traditional CTO can and should be able to handle oversight of how the organizations leverages the cloud as well as the inter-relationships between cloud and premise-based technologies. In some cases, especially within larger enterprise organizations, a Chief Cloud Architect could be the top person responsible for cloud activities who then reports into a CTO or a CIO.
Other cloud-related titles that have surfaced include Cloud Capacity Planner, Cloud Administrator, Cloud Engineer, Cloud Systems Engineer, Cloud Security Architect, Cloud Service Manager and even the somewhat-generic "Cloud Specialist". What are some other titles you've come across or anticipate?
One role/responsibility that certain to materialize are IT/Procurement professionals who are placed in charge of either negotiating cloud-based contracts or ensuring that service-level agreements (SLAs) are being met by third-party providers. As I wrote about in my last blog, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and his team are working on building out a career development path for IT acquisition professionals. No doubt this would include cloud procurement professionals across federal agencies.
As cloud agreements continue to take shape and mature, this represents a fertile opportunity for business-minded IT professionals.