IT Management Skills Critical to Entering the Cloud

Thursday, 10 March, 2011

Looking to get caught up in the shift toward Cloud Computing? It winds up even those focused on storage and network administration will need to add management to their skill set.

There are two roles that are becoming relevant in cloud computing, according to Drue Reeves, VP and Gartner analyst on cloud computing. The first are Cloud Leads, operating at the strategic level to serve as enterprise evaluator and ambassador.  The second are Cloud Administrators, repurposed storage and network administrators who move more into a management role working with cloud providers.

Thus, the adoption of cloud platforms will drive an increase in demand for those with not only the requisite IT skills but also key management training or background.

One excellent form of management training for IT professionals is the certification for ITIL, or the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.  ITIL is among the most widely used set of best practices where it comes to IT services management (ITSM).  Those interested in obtaining ITIL certification begin with the ITIL v3 Foundation certification training in order to obtain the initial certificate.  Afterward, ITIL offers an Intermediate level with two tracks of learning, Lifecycle and Capability.  Certifications are offered in each of the Intermediate modules but those seeking to sit for the exams must demonstrate they have taken ITIL v3 Intermediate training from an Authorized Training Organization (GogoTraining is an ATO).

GogoTraining offers the ITIL v3 Foundation certification training courses (there are 2) at a “buy one get one” price to help interested professionals get started quickly and easily.

Other strong IT management training courses include:

Kabam, GoDaddy, IBM Launch Large Recruiting Drives

Tuesday, 8 March, 2011

Three well-know technology companies have turned up the volume on hiring and are looking for technologists in key fields.

Kabam, a game development company known for their Kingdoms of Camelot title (voted Best Facebook Game in 2010), is looking to hire more take in an additional 600 employees with a focus on skills such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, MySQL, CSS, Java and Flash.  Those involved in data center engineering and maintenance are also needed as they serve their games.

GoDaddy, the world’s top hosting provider and domain registrar, continues to experience growth even through the tough economy (wherein it doubled in size in less than four years).  They hope to hire around 350 people.  While most will be in customer service and call center, around one third will focus on skills such as network engineering, quality assurance, .NET engineering, SQL and Linux.

IBM is also looking for a lot of new people, with over 2,200 positions open on Dice.com at the moment.  Regions of particular focus are Washington D.C., Ohio, Los Angeles, San Fransisco and San Diego.  Particular skills being sought include networking, integration, SAP, SAN, Oracle, Java and Unix.

GogoTraining offers the following online training courses to help you get up and running for these and other jobs.  Need something different? Check our online training course catalog.

Survey: Top 4 Key IT Skill Sets Needed, Say CIOs

Tuesday, 1 March, 2011

A gap exists between today’s composition of IT groups and what is needed for enterprises to maximize return on systems investments, so say CIOs in a recent survey.

CIO magazine and the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) asked 370 CIOs about the makeup and goals of their organizations.  The CIOs indicated a new “value proposition” for IT was to move beyond building and running systems and into a space that contributes more fundamental business value to the enterprise.  This represents at least a partial shift of responsibility away from other departments who are often tasked with providing the ultimate value out of systems created and maintained by the IT department.

Skills such as vendor managers, IT/business experts, data and analytics experts, and application developers top out where it comes to skill sets needed to make that value proposition a reality.

IT/Business experts are the hybrids we discussed recently, people who have depth in both and are able to tie them together in meaningful ways.  One example are IT service managers who are not necessarily technologists but manage technology for the business.  ITIL certification and project management certification are highly advisable for those in such positions and are sure to be hired first in a glut of applicants.

Application developers will have specific skills that vary depending on the chosen technology.  Particular hot spots include Java, Oracle and Android application development.  Pursuing training in any of these areas is very desirable when seeking to build a strong resume.

GogoTraining continues to create new learning opportunities that allow IT professionals of any experience level to build a foundation for reliable job security and employability.

What area could you train for that would really make your resume stand out?

4 Ways to Keep Your IT Job this Year

Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

If there was ever a time to do an awareness check on your situation and make sure your career – and employment – is in the “safe and moving forward” zone, it is now. 

“In this economy” has become the preamble to all sorts of reminders of good advice on how to survive and thrive.  Let this be another one!  With that said, here’s four ways to keep your job and maybe even do a little advancing this year:

Dust off your communication skills.  It’s time to start speaking up in those horrifying status meetings.  A sure sign of being overlooked by management is to glaze over like a donut in the back of the room while they drone on about what features are being pushed to phase two.  Ask questions, make suggestions, and bring new ideas.  It matters less what you say and more that you try.  Trying gets noticed, and the noticed get remembered.

Improve your visibility.  Meet and converse regularly with the key decision makers in your department.  Ask your boss how else you can help.  Keep your ears out for opportunities to pitch in on other projects.  Keep the project manager updated on your status.  Be positive in all interactions while you’re at it.

Ask for feedback – and use it.  Ask your project manager and/or boss how you’re doing.  Ask what can be improved or what skill sets your department needs to sharpen or gain.  If you’re not sure how to obtain those skills, ask for training.  Even if you are sure, ask for training.  If you get feedback of a personal nature, do your best to make the changes suggested (or implied).  Overall, it is important to show that you are acting on feedback instead of just soliciting it.

Continually educate yourself.  Start by making sure you are staying current in you field.  It could be as simple as attending the right conference and taking a few online courses each year to stay up on trends and keep sharp on new industry developments.

Next, look to add to your skills.  A great way to add texture to your skill set is by obtaining project management skills.  The new protocol in IT as of 2011 is to diminish costs and increase efficiency, and producers who are trained in project management are sure bets on how to do that.  Why?  Because chances are high that a project could be taken on by as little as one to three people and there aren’t enough project managers to be had for such small teams.  If you’re a hardware or development geek who was just handed a two-week or two-month project to work on you need to be your own project manager – and you better know how to do it well.

GogoTraining can help with a catalog of over 140 outstanding IT training courses and a free library of podcasts regarding IT topics (with over 500 entries).  Some particularly hot areas include:

Clearing the Clouds from SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Monday, 14 February, 2011

Sometimes it seems like the IT industry was the inventor of the acronym, with a new one getting created every two minutes.  Enter Cloud Computing and a host of new and fun abbreviations that can get confused or switched around.

Adron Hall offers a simple run-down (and introduction for some) on three important acronyms in Cloud Computing that are used to represent three general areas in the Cloud:

Software as a Service (SaaS): Perhaps the most commonly heard and understood of the three, SaaS is a service that is provided by any sort of entity – from a small group up to a government – that provides software to the client.  That software could be delivered in any way; internally or from a provider/vendor entity to a user/contracting entity.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): Somewhat less heard-of is the concept of delivering a platform wherein clients can develop software and re-deploy it either internally, over the Internet or via other Cloud environments.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This entails an entity providing networking fundamentals such as load balancing, routing, virtualized OS hosting, content delivery networks, computer networking, backup, etc.

Interested in the Cloud?  Check out what GogoTraining offers for training in Cloud Computing, ITIL training, and project management training.

Cloud Computing Jobs See a Surge with Amazon

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011

Amazon has been moving itself into position to be a leading cloud and storage provider through Amazon Web Services. They recently posted a great many more jobs on technology job sites such as Dice.com.

Particular skills being sought include software engineering in Java or Ruby. Also those with strong networking protocol knowledge such as iSCSI, NFS v3/v4, CIFS or SMB. Developers and designers with knowledge and background around these technologies are sure to do well with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and Web Services divisions.

As usual, with an enterprise as large as Amazon investing heavily in a leading-edge technology field, project managers with experience and PMP certification will also be in need.

GogoTraining has what you need to dive right in to these great Cloud Computing jobs!

Why Businesses Need ITIL Certified Professionals

Tuesday, 18 January, 2011

The business community has always thrived on service.  The fundamental best practice of serving customers has always been a necessary ingredient to long-term success and a sustainable business model.  You simply can’t expect to have staying power – whether you’re serving retail or business customers – and fail to think about their needs (and respond to them!). 

As information technology has grown in prominence among business users, many of us became caught in a technology trap where the tech took center stage and it was up to customers to conform.  The result has often been problems with cost, efficiency and consistency as technology is adopted due to a less-than-whole perspective on who will use it and why.

Back in the 1980’s, the proliferation of information technology across different departments in the United Kingdom government was occurring at a pace that left things like consistency, relevance, applicability and utility behind.  It sounds strange because these are just the sorts of things information technology is supposed to support or even introduce into an environment.  But rapid adoption by multiple points within the same entity (e.g. the UK government) makes for a lack of continuity and a resulting jumble of confused and colliding implementations.

Enter ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), a set of standards first envisioned in the late 1980’s by the Central Computer Telecommunications Agency (a division of the UK government).  This blossomed over the years into many volumes of publications covering best practices for IT management, application and service.  The focus remained on Service Management; specifically, a perspective on IT management that is centered on the customer’s perspective of IT.

This customer-centered approach represents a major competitive opportunity for businesses in 2011 and beyond.  Due to several years of difficult economic conditions the corporate lens is focused on finding ways to save costs and create efficiency, and ITIL certainly offers both of these advantages.

Those with ITIL certification have an opportunity to stand out in this economy.  Being able to bring this sort of perspective is a difference maker for those already employed or seeking a new position.  Companies large and small are looking for an edge and the user-focused best practices of ITIL make a strong business case for accomplishing real savings in any and all IT investments moving forward.  Businesses are already well-educated on the importance of this after several decades of technology deployments with very mixed results.

If you are currently employed and in the position to manage IT services, consider obtaining ITIL certification training that will enable you to get certified.  By making a case for efficiency and cost control you may be able to get your employer to pay for it.  If you are unemployed and looking to secure a new position that includes IT service management then ITIL certification could be a way to distinguish yourself.
 
Employed or not, taking a page from the ITIL philosophy on IT management and singing the tune of customer-focused service is sure to be one that resonates with today’s top employers.

Project Management to Ramp Up in 2011

Friday, 14 January, 2011

Major employers are looking to return to projects that were postponed or abandoned in recent years due to the tightening of budgets.  Industry experts believe these projects are coming back and are in need of expert management.  As part of Monster’s 2011 IT Employment Outlook, David Marceau (a VP with an IT staffing agency) said, “IT hiring will pick up as companies implement projects they put off during the recession and rehire those laid-off project managers.”

“Project managers in companies will become more in demand, along with IT business analysts who can bridge the gap between business and process,” said Tammy Browning, SVP at a Philadelphia-based staffing firm. “Those were the first people to go, but it’s also where we have the biggest gap in the industry between what’s forecast and what’s needed to execute on company plans.”

Have you been practicing project management and need to obtain your PMP® certification? Now is the time!  Companies are looking for project managers with a combination of experience and training.  It is essential to round out your real-world application of project management with a PMP® certificate.  This will not only boost your already-practiced skills but also help validate your value.  GogoTraining offers some of the best online, self-paced project management training available for the PMP® certificate.

Need to Train for Your PMP®?

GogoTraining offers a two-course series that will prepare you for your PMP® certification exam.

These courses are taught by industry-expert Neal Rowland, MEd, PMP®, ITIL®.  Neal is a professional trainer and instructional designer who is certified in Project Management, IT Service Management, and Dispute Resolution.  Beyond being a PMP®, Neal also contributed to the 4th edition PMBOK published by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Already Have Your PMP®?

Build your skills while earning PDUs (professional development units) with the following classroom-quality online and self-paced project management courses led by leading experts.