The cloud remains a hot topic within the business community. The ability to scale computing resources at a moment’s notice while lowering both capital and operating expenditures is simply too tempting for business leaders to ignore.
While a few years ago, naysayers may have labeled the cloud as just another passing tech fad, the technology has more than proved its worth in this arena, making it clear that across the board, companies are buying into the cloud and will continue to depend on it for the foreseeable future. Now that the technology has passed well beyond the proof-of-concept stage, the question many business leaders are asking themselves is not “should I invest in the cloud?” but “which cloud platform should I buy into?”
The future of the cloud is rosy indeed: According to Statistica, the global public cloud Platform-as-a-Service market alone is expected tohit $38 billion by the end of the year. That segment’s not expected to slow down, either. By 2026, researchers predict that figure to reach $173 billion.
With more businesses embracing cloud platforms, the need for qualified IT personnel to manage these assets is going to grow by leaps and bounds over the next several years. For individuals looking to put themselves in a good position to take advantage of these market conditions, where should they devote their attention and what skills should they look to further hone?
Cloud title fight: Azure vs. AWS
When speaking about Infrastructure as a Serviceand PaaS, Amazon has shot out to an early lead in this area with AWS. However, that doesn’t mean IT professionals should rush to devote all of their time and resources to training around that platform. The public cloud market continues to change at aremarkable rate, and the current momentum seems to be pointing in favor of another competitor: Microsoft and its Azure platform.
Despite its late start, Azure is quickly making up ground on AWS. RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud survey indicates thatinterest in Azure continues to ramp upacross the board, while AWS may be stagnating. Although Azure IaaS only had a 12-percent adoption rate last year, that figure rose to 17 percent in 2016. Likewise, Azure PaaS saw its adoption rate grow from 9 percent to 13 percent in the past year.
Meanwhile, although 57 percent of survey respondents reported using AWS in 2016, that number remained unchanged from the previous year. It’s entirely possible that demand forAWS has stalled out, and the growing interest in Azure will continue to chip away at Amazon’s position as market leader.
Azure’s competitive edge
One of the reasons to buy into Azure as the cloud platform of the future is Microsoft’s steadfast commitment to its success. As the Motley Fool noted, the tech giant is willing tocontinue investing in Azureand carve out a bigger piece of the pie, even if that means losing profits in the short term. That bullish behavior could very well turn the public cloud market in its favor over the long haul.
“Microsoft’s name recognition could be a deciding factor.”
Another major advantage that Azure enjoys is the Microsoft name itself. Many businesses run exclusively on Microsoft software, including the Windows operating system and Office suite of business applications, and have done so for decades. What that means is that when it comes time for companies to make the leap to the cloud, they may feel more comfortable moving to a Microsoft platform over Amazon. That name recognition and brand awareness could be the deciding factor that pushes cloud holdouts toward Azure rather than AWS.
With all of this in mind, the time is right for IT veterans and newcomers alike to start beefing up their Azure skills. Building up your knowledge in this area is a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack when looking to work with companies that have already embraced Azure. These types of credentials are also great bargaining tools when it comes time to negotiate salary demands with a prospective employer or even your current company. Having aMicrosoft Certified Solutions Developer: Azure Solutions Architect credentialto your name is a surefire way to show employers that you’re a major IT asset and primed to work on one of the most essential cloud platforms around.
More links
Learn how to Implement Azure