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Cloud is too often used as a blanket term for anything that is “hosted” on the Internet.

To get a more valuable take on cloud, I reached out to four technology innovators and asked them how they see “the cloud” affecting careers and required skills sets in their industries.

Wikipedia defines Cloud (Computing):

  • “In common usage, the term “the cloud” is essentially a metaphor for the Internet.
  • Marketers have further popularized the phrase “in the cloud” to refer to software, platforms and infrastructure that are sold “as a service”, i.e. remotely through the Internet.
  • In computer networking, cloud computing involves a large number of computers connected through a communication network such as the Internet.”

My Take as a Social Business Consultant

As CEO at MarketingXLerator, the cloud is my office, my conference room, my executive briefing center and my communication center.

In my job, I work with executives and managers who want to understand how they can leverage social media to reach their business and career goals.

  • The cloud has certainly created new jobs for people like me, who help others understand the potential and teach the skills to leverage these new technologies.
  • At the same time, at my clients, I see the mandate on marketing employees to acquire social media skills, as well as the creation of new types of jobs that fill the void.
  • Last, social media forces the breaking up of silos. No longer is marketing alone dedicated to customer communication. In social selling, for example, content is  often provided to sales reps in an online system to distribute freely (even regular employees are turned into brand ambassadors).

Four Featured Opinions

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“Cloud technologies will drive innovation (and therefore new jobs)”

~ Allan Thomson, CTO, Lookingglass Cyber Solutions

  • “For software vendors, leveraging cloud technologies in a product portfolio presents both opportunity and risk.
  • Products can easily take advantage of more flexible delivery mechanisms for compute, network and storage. While those vendors and their customers have a responsibility to ensure that well-defined security techniques and technologies continue to be effective for those products against an increasingly sophisticated threat actor.
  • This presents security vendors with a great opportunity to deliver new technologies that are robust against sophisticated threats in a cloud environment.
  • In summary, cloud technologies will drive innovation (and therefore new jobs) across a broad set of technologies and in particular the security industry to address the increased need for more sophisticated products.”

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“Cloud software has fundamentally changed how executive marketers approach their go to market strategies.”

~ Dan Ziman, CMO, LeanData

“As B2B marketer cloud software has fundamentally changed how executive marketers approach go to market strategies.

  • I can now implement the best technology at the right time to address my business objectives.

The software evaluation and selection process has significantly changed as well.

  • I don’t need to involve IT every step of the way or spend hours explaining to IT what our needs are. We can work directly with vendors to make decision. Thus, we can move faster on industry trends and emerging needs.
  • We also have much easier access to our data (reports, spreadsheets, presentations, documents) and collaborative docs as a result of cloud technology.
  • You no longer have to be at your desk or even at your laptop to communicate or launch programs, because much of the marketing & business technology is mobile-phone ready.  Business can now happen anywhere.

From a resource management perspective, one major evolution is the creation of formal “marketing operations” teams.

  • Their specific role is to implement, train, and maintain systems to run the marketing department as well as be responsible for reporting on marketing KPIs. Marketing Operations teams can also work closely with IT on corporate initiatives like data integration and security.
  • Cloud software along with better tracking and analytics is providing me with a whole new way to see which marketing campaigns are most effective for driving traction in target accounts and make adjustments along the way.  It’s a great time to be a marketer. “

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“It’s going to be a busy space with many new choices for the cloud-ready professional.”

~ Jack Mardack, Head of Growth, ChartCube

“As keeping ones work documents in the cloud inevitably becomes the professional mainstream, a brand new value layer is being created by software companies that will let you do all sorts of exciting things with your files.

  • Cloudstorage makes it easy for users to give third party vendors access to their documents. And cloud providers like Box, Dropbox, Google and Hightail will continue to support developer ecosystems that create value and engagement for their users.
  • The result will be a proliferation of new business apps that build on cloud-stored content to offer users new powers, ranging from team collaboration to DIY business intelligence. For example, at our startup ChartCube, we’re interested in both those things.

It’s going to be a busy space with many new choices for the cloud-ready professional.

  • IT departments should anticipate still more “bottom-up”, Yammer-style adoption,
  • as individual employees continue to introduce and distribute these new tools throughout the organization.”


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“New skill sets are required to be able to deliver the promised value.”

~ Tom Cenens, SAP Mentor at CTAC Belgium

  • “Cloud can enable customers to get the right solutions in place, in a fast and flexible way. The ability to scale easily and run in a cost effective way comes on top of those benefits.
  • Cloud has the power to bring innovation to your doorstep instead of having it buried somewhere in the backyard, waiting to be dug out. The backyard, where everyone looks around and wonders, who will start digging and where will it lead?
  • The shift towards cloud brings along new opportunities for both customers and providers. New questions are raised, like, which pieces of the puzzle do you take along and which should you leave behind in order to leverage the benefits cloud has to offer?
  • As such, new careers have emerged already out of this shift as new skill sets are required to be able to deliver the promised value.”


What is your experience of the impact of cloud on your own career?


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For more opinions on how Cloud Computing may affect your Industry and/or Line of Business (LoB) – and thus your career, read here:


#CloudCareer Central

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3 Comments

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  1. Gregory Doukas

    From a SAP Technical perspective, i think the cloud is going to radically change the landscape. Gone are the days of pure ABAP’ers and I see people who stick to only doing ABAP being phased out slowly but surely. Initially they will be needed for migration projects from on-premise to Cloud but eventually they will be the same as mainframe developers… we have them around to maintain those old systems no one else wants to touch and an organisation tries endlessly to decommission.

    Personally I’ve been in the CRM game and here especially I see the skills needed for Cloud based projects being completely different to traditional projects. As we try understand all that SAP cloud has to offer, functional consultants are questioning their usefulness in a project: with a project span of 3-6m and a pretty much pre-configured system, the role of a functional consultant has been reduced drastically. In many regards, the functional consultant will become more of a Sales guy trying to sell new features and add-ons to the client.

    From a technical skills perspective, now your main skill set will shift from ABAP to Java (SAPUI5 based screens) and/or C# (Silverlight and related screens). Then if you need integration to existing ERP/CRM on premise solutions, gone are the days of CRM middleware but an integration specialist will have to be brought along that specializes in either Hana Cloud Integration (HCI) or XI/PI. An ABAP guy will only be needed to extend ERP/CRM interfaces and/or build custom interfaces to the cloud. The reality is that you now need 3 skill sets going forward (Cloud developer, integration expert and back-end ABAP’er) for what was predominately achieved by an ABAP’er and the functional guy. Granted the world in the cloud should be simpler and more straight forward but i guess we will see about that… 😉

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