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The Impact of Cloud Computing on Career Opportunities: Interview with Markus Schwarz

As the leader of a global organization dedicated to education, training and enablement, SVP & Global Head of SAP Education Markus Schwarz is well positioned to address some of the challenges and opportunities brought about through cloud computing. In this short video and in the transcribed interview below, Markus answers five key questions and in the process shares valuable insights from his perspectives as both a training industry professional and an executive in a leading cloud company.

How is the cloud changing your job or other jobs at SAP?

The cloud is actually changing lots of jobs at SAP, for example sales, development, and consulting. And it also changes my job, and not only because I have to support an additional set of cloud products with enablement. But also because cloud computing technology gives us in SAP Education the technology foundation to really change the way we bring enablement to people. One example is SAP Learning Hub, which is a cloud-based online learning platform we’ve created based where people can access SAP knowledge which us always up to date 24/7. We also combined it with a very engaging way of consuming learning with Learning Rooms where our instructors act as moderators, coaches, and subject-matter experts to help guide people through self-study.

Which industries or lines of business do you think are most impacted by the cloud?

I actually believe that all industries are impacted by cloud computing, foremost the IT industry. The lines of business impact is probably more important to highlight, because some lines of business such as HCM and CRM will move completely to the cloud with regard to the technology environment people have to deal with. And that has a significant impact which we see across all geographies and also, in most of the industries.

What types of jobs do you think could be created by virtue of the cloud?

I think a lot of new jobs have to be created, but existing jobs will also change. We need people who can understand the kinds of opportunities which cloud computing gives us and then translate them into business requirements. Also in new processes and new business models which may disrupt the business. We also have a lot of on-premise landscapes out there, so people are needed who can help customers and partners deal with the integration of on-cloud and on-premise. Last but not least, one important aspect of cloud computing which touches everybody is that many more people will have access to systems and to the benefits of systems than ever before.

What should people do to educate themselves and prepare for cloud careers?

There is a vast offering of enablement opportunities, and it’s really important to take advantage of them. I would recommend that everybody have a clearly defined enablement goal in mind, which is ultimately the skill-set people want to acquire. This can help them from getting off-track. That’s really important. Also, look at certifications or degrees which might be needed for a certain job.  Follow this approach and the way you acquire the knowledge (be it offline learning or classroom learning) becomes less important.

Which particular skills should people have in order to success in cloud careers?

I think in the past, technology skills were not so widespread. So that’s why the people who worked with IT systems were always a small delegation representing the wider overall population that really impact the business. With technology savviness now becoming a commodity – especially with the Millennials generation coming in – it’s important to understand both the business and technology requirements. But what I want to highlight is that soft skills remain as important as they were in the past. So all of the new possibilities for communicating with each other through social collaboration and community networks should not take away the focus of really good social skills and how to achieve joint goals as a team.

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Read more opinions on how cloud computing could impact your industry or line of business, and by extension, your career.

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