Ever since the pandemic put the cloud at the centre of businesses, a lot has changed for the cloud architect – the engineers who chart, execute and maintain the cloud roadmap for businesses.
For one, they are now in huge demand. Blair Lyon, VP of cloud experience at cloud vendor Linode, says such is the war for this talent that it is becoming extremely challenging to attract and retain them. Anupam Mishra, head of technology and solution architecture at Amazon Internet Services, says demand for cloud architects is coming from organisations that are on a cloud adoption journey, from service providers who work with cloud providers, and the cloud providers themselves.
The surge in cloud usage has also put new demands on cloud architects. For AWS Hero Sandip Das, who is a senior cloud architect with IoT player Gryphon Online Safety, cost has become a big concern. “With more time spent at home, there’s more usage of IoT devices. This drives up cloud usage. We have to make sure that even if the load is increasing, the user does not face downtime. At the same time, the CPU usage cost should not mount,” he says. Sandip uses tools like AWS cost explorer to keep a constant tab on cloud usage.
Another big shift in the cloud architect’s job is enterprise preference for multi-cloud infrastructure. “That means greater complexity and broader responsibilities. Cloud architects now need to understand when and where a multi-cloud makes sense. They have to be adept in moving between different cloud environments,” says Lyon.
Cloud architects need to have a broader understanding of multiple technologies to choose the best option. For example, to store data in the cloud, it is important to know about the types of databases, and where these databases work the best.
Anupam Mishra, Head of Technology & Solution Architecture, Amazon Internet Services
For those keen to become cloud architects, Mishra says the work-from-home scenario has made the technical resources required to gain the skill more accessible. “Many software professionals are learning and trying cloud technologies from the comfort of their home,” he says.