5 Cloud Computing Skills that Give You an IT Edge

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5 Cloud Computing Skills that Give You an IT Edge

The world has come a long way since the dawn of cloud computing. We've traded traditional hard drives for faster, more secure cloud storage options that allow us access to data in seconds. Cloud computing essentially frees you from any data security or accessibility concerns, allowing you the ability to storage and scale entire networks without any bulky onsite hardware required. And as more cloud computing providers enter the market, cloud storage continually becomes an affordable, time-saving option for data storage and use.

From improved security to enhanced accessibility and the capacity for individual user cloud profiles, cloud networks offer a number of distinct advantages over traditional computing. Your data is safer and more accessible, as long as you possess the skills necessary to use a cloud infrastructure. If you can develop even a baseline understanding of the cloud computing skills outlined below, you'll be able to implement cloud solutions that save your company time, money and energy each day.

1. Programming

Your edge in IT starts with a thorough understanding of common programming languages. Take the time to familiarize yourself with programming languages like Java, Python and HTML, which will help you manipulate cloud programs. One of several pivotal cloud engineer skills, programming is useful in creating and sustaining cloud networks over time. Particularly if your company is transitioning from a traditional network infrastructure to a cloud-based system, your programming skills will be crucial in ensuring a successful data migration.

2. Data security

No matter the size of your company, or the size of the cloud client you use, data security is a constant concern. Even a single breach in your company's security can present serious issues, including profit loss, compromised productivity and a damaged network infrastructure. Fortunately, cloud-based platforms are notoriously secure when it comes to data protection. You can help your cloud computing platform keep your company's data safe when you learn basic data security skills. 

Cloud security systems often make data security an easy task. With safeguards in place to secure your company's data, data security in a cloud environment sometimes feels redundant. Still, you can help your company take steps to keep your data safe in a cloud environment. Encourage two-factor authentication and set up strict user permission tiers, to ensure employees only have access to the data they need during work hours. Set up complicated cloud access passwords, and ask that employees — including yourself — change passwords regularly. Implement appropriate firewalls, run proactive security audits and install intrusion detection to further keep cloud-stored data safe.

3. Data migration

Cloud computing is a fast-growing application, one that companies routinely trust to improve network security, data accessibility and other critical aspects of network success. As a result, you might be asked to help a company migrate their current network onto a compatible cloud computing platform. You'll need to possess a technical understanding of data migration, including the skills necessary to appropriately migrate code.

Data migration is more complicated than simply copying and pasting files into correct locations. Corporate networks are often complicated environments, where AI and machine learning allow employees to execute tasks autonomously. Files communicate with one another, and data is constantly on the move. To fully migrate data onto — or away from — a cloud-based environment, you'll need to understand how these files and data packets interact with one another. Many of the best cloud engineers take steps to educate themselves on each data source or file type individually, to avoid compromising any part of a system during a migration.

4. Disaster recovery

Data is one of the most important things for any organization, and losing that data can be devastating. Whether data loss is the result of a cybersecurity attack, unsuccessful data migration or simply user error, issues do occur. If your company has experienced extensive data loss, disaster recovery is an important step in mitigating damage and recovering as many files as possible from the loss.

Fortunately, many cloud computing platforms make data recovery a fairly easy step in the disaster mitigation process. When you store all of your data on the cloud, you're at least safe from any hardware issues. When a laptop breaks or a computer crashes, your data is already stored securely in an online database. You can easily recover these files from any device in the world that has access to the cloud. Cloud service providers also help you prepare for disaster recovery through a series of "automatic save" processes, that routinely save your work in the cloud. Even before you press "Save", the cloud often saves a record of the change in case data loss occurs, or your connection to the cloud is suddenly severed.

5. Performance analysis

If you're working with an organization utilizing cloud computing for the first time, much of your work will likely concern cloud setup and testing. However, after you have established a thorough cloud infrastructure, you'll need to find ways to test its usefulness. Most cloud engineers have strong performance analysis skills, which equip them to test a cloud network and optimize for best results.

Performance analysis calls for a strong use of analytics, and a reliance on cloud metrics. You'll need to understand which metrics to check when gauging the success of your cloud computing platform. Even if your company is simply concerned with ROI, you'll need to test analytics that identify cloud downtimes, usage tendencies and any potential security breaches. 

Accelerating the cloud skills learning process

Given how quickly the cloud computing landscape is changing, skill-building is critical to ensure ongoing success in a cloud engineering. If you're worried that cloud education will take away from your daily productivity, you're not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to adopt cloud computing skills without removing yourself from a work environment. Consult the following strategies below that can help you expedite the cloud skills learning curve.

  • Actively integrate feedback — If you're implementing cloud strategies in an IT environment, you likely work alongside other company employees. Take steps to actively gauge their feedback on the success of the cloud platform you operate. What works well? What could be improved? Seek answers to performance-based questions that indicate how well employees resonate with the cloud environment you maintain. After you receive feedback, follow up with employees to let them know you respect their opinions. After you field suggestions, upgrade the cloud network accordingly to create better results for users. Be sure to follow up to ensure that where possible, you solved employee cloud issues or otherwise improved the cloud networking experience.
  • Work smarter — Often, cloud engineering operates on a problem-first schedule. Cloud engineers regularly face cloud functionality issues that can degrade cloud performance. To work smarter in a cloud environment, operate with a solution-first mindset. While there's certainly a place for reactive cloud engineering, try adopting a proactive mindset. Solve for issues before they arise or escalate. Upgrade your cloud's infrastructure before security updates require it. If you can stay ahead of the most common cloud issues, you'll often save yourself from a work week full of damage control.
  • Measure personal growth — In any technology career, it's important to measure personal growth. Take time during the course of a month or quarter to self-assess your own performance, and take note of the progress you might have made. Have you learned new processes that improve cloud functionality? Have you made your cloud infrastructure more secure for users? Have you adopted new data migration techniques that mitigate data loss? Take note of any steps you've made, and be honest with yourself about where growth might still be required.

If you're serious about accelerating the cloud skills learning process, there's one important step you can take: adopt cloud best practices. Cloud computing sometimes calls for completely new strategies. However, more often you'll need to solve issues and make changes that many companies face. Cloud engineering is often as simple, or as complicated, as implementing the best solution to a common problem. You're not looking to reinvent the wheel; instead, identify the course of action that most often results in success, and take steps to implement it.

Finding cloud computing best practices can take time and energy. That's why we've compiled them into a single course, to eliminate your search for everything worth knowing in the cloud computing world. Work 35% faster, and improve the security of your cloud's infrastructure, through the industry's leading cloud certification courses. Work at your own pace to obtain reputable cloud certifications, to stay ahead of the curve in any cloud computing environment.

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