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How The Cloud Is Creating More Opportunities For IT Pros

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Cloud computing continues to create new job opportunities for IT pros, most recently pronounced in the SMB space. Here's a hand list of resources from Ingram Micro to help you learn about and identify new areas of opportunity for work in the cloud.

In reading over the materials from Ingram Micro's recent Cloud Summit in Phoenix, AZ, I was struck by how strongly cloud-based services are moving downmarket into the SMB space. With so many players and so many offerings coming to market, this only creates even more great opportunities for IT pros to work for VARs, service providers, technology makers—and the companies that seek to put their service offerings to work in their operations.

I remember working with Ingram Micro as a major Novell distributor back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I still labored in the hallways and cubicles of corporate America. I was both interested and a little surprised to learn recently that the company remains very strong, and now functions as something of a global cloud technology broker for all kinds of different technology companies—from OEMs, to Service Providers, to Technology Partners, to Distributors and Resellers, as the graphic so busily depicts—in the SMB space. And man, are they all over the cloud niche.

Source: IngramMicro Cloud Summit breakout presentation, Jon McCarrick, Partner Technology Evangelist, Acronis.Source: IngramMicro Cloud Summit breakout presentation, Jon McCarrick, Partner Technology Evangelist, Acronis.

Every year, Ingram hosts a technology conclave called the Cloud Summit. It just held that event for 2016 from April 11-13 in Phoenix, Arizona. A large collection of materials has been assembled from the event, and is free to peruse and download (all downloads come through Dropbox, and are easy to grab and use). 

In addition to in-house luminaries from Ingram itself, namely Nimesh Davé, EVP for Global Cloud (presentation) and Renée Bergeron, VP, Global Cloud Computing (presentation), this latest Summit also featured an interesting collection of invited speakers from outside the Ingram umbrella, including: 

  • Buzz Aldrin, Astronaut and Author (presentation)
  • Thomas Dolby, Musician and Artist (recording not yet available, check back at home page)
  • Serguei Beloussov, CEO, Acronis (presentation)
  • Bill Karpovich, General Manager, IBM Cloud (presentation)
  • Johnathan Rosenberg, VP and CTO, Collaboration Technology, Cisco (presentation)
  • Hank Humphries, Head of Global Channel Sales, Dropbox (presentation)
  • Melanie Posey, Research Vice President, IDC (presentation)
  • Darren Bibby, Program Vice President, IDC (presentation)

If you're thinking to yourself "Wow, this sounds pretty sales- and market-oriented. Why should I care?" I don't blame you. Though you can find some gems amidst the presentations, I'm not recommending that it jump to the top of your must-watch list. In fact, the Summit represents a major effort to recruit customers, in the form of resellers and other marketplace players, to buy into selling the cloud into the SMB marketplace. But because this is precisely where so much opportunity is likely to pop up for IT professionals—especially those who help to explain potential sales (pre-sales tech support/engineering) and help to provide consulting, training, and support after the deal is done (post-sales tech support/engineering)—that's what makes this stuff worth zipping through.

You may find something that interests you enough to slow down and actually attend to in detail (like the McCarrick session that furnished the graphic for this post), or you may not. But what you will find is a huge list of companies and organzations that are likely to be looking for cloud-savvy IT pros to help them participate in this growing ecosystem of companies that provide underlying technologies, services, and platforms to drive the ecosystem, or distributors and resellers that actually put feet on the street and take these offerings to customers so they can buy into them.

While you're thinking along these lines, and pondering possibilities, please also take another look at our Best Cloud Computing Certifications list. It will give you an idea of how the product/services landscape and the certification landscape map into one another. It may even give you some ideas about the kinds of technical expertise to cultivate to step into (or enhance your existing investment in) this burgeoning technology area. To mix a metaphor perhaps beyond meaning "There's gold in them thar clouds!" Have fun prospecting them.