Subscriptions to consumer-oriented cloud-based services are soaring, and serving this growing customer base will lead to the creation of interesting companies and careers, especially as more providers try to monetize their loss-leader cloud giveaways (“Five free gigabytes of storage forever”) by adding paid services on top of the free stuff.
As CIO.com notes:
[Analyst firm] IHS estimates that personal cloud storage subscriptions have increased from 300 million last year to 500 million this year, and they’re expected to hit 625 million next year. By 2017, there could be 1.3 billion personal cloud subscriptions from major providers such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple’s iCloud and Google Drive.
What do consumers want? Something more than the raw storage space they can easily get today. The research suggests they’re looking for the seamless ability to upload and retrieve all kinds of media and documents to and the cloud from across a wide range of devices — everything from smartphones to desktop PCs. That kind of functionality across disparate hardware and software will require some clever coding.
According to IHS, one place to look for career opportunities in this area is somewhere you might not think of: with mobile service providers.
Wireless operators are uniquely positioned to provide such a digital vault—or trusted hub—for digital media assets. Unlike Google and Facebook, wireless operators and carriers do not need to mine the data for marketing purposes.
Systems engineers in the cloud space should be expert in C programming for network and/or real-time systems; have a solid understanding of networking technologies (L2, L3, management protocols) and knowledge of L4-7 functions in complex network environments; and have experience with Linux network applications and REST API usage and definition.
There’s also demand for data warehouse architects who know data warehouse/data mart architecture, data warehouse decision support design and application deployment; have experience with relational databases and big data technologies like Hadoop, Hbase, Hive, or Cassandra; have experience with analytics services such as Google Analytics; and have worked with high-volume transactional databases.
The jobs may come with stringent requirements, but the pot of gold is just over the horizon. In 2011, Forrester projected that the total cloud computing industry will grow six-fold from $40 billion in 2010 to $241 billion by 2020. It’s hard to ignore numbers like that.
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