What Is A Cloud Architect | How Do You Become One?

“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing” – Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware

Anyone who is working as an IT professional must have heard the term Cloud Computing. Now, this technology is becoming mainstream in the present IT world. The reason is because a growing number of companies around the globe are in the process of adopting cloud computing technology.

With the gradual increase in the focus on cloud computing technology over the last few years, cloud architects are in great demand these days. More and more organizations have moved to cloud platforms for better scalability, mobility and security and hence the professionals who specialize in cloud computing skills are expected to be in high demand to meet this growing industry.

Did You Know? Cloud adoption statistics reveal that by 2020, a staggering 83% of all the company workload will be stored on the cloud – Source: techjury

If you are looking to pursue your career as a Cloud Architect, then you are at the right place, as this blog aims to discuss what exactly a Cloud Architect is. It will show how one can successfully become a Cloud Architect professional.

Before we jump to discuss what becoming a Cloud Architect is all about, let us first see what Cloud Computing is and some of its types to understand this concept with more clarity. Here we also suggest you please read this blog Top 12 AWS Certifications | Right AWS Certification Path to get detailed information about different AWS certifications.

The topics we will be covering in this blog are as follows:

  • What is Cloud Computing?
  • What is Cloud Architect?
  • Role of a Cloud Architect in the success of the Cloud Computing technology
  • Top Skills and Qualifications required to Become a Cloud Architect?
  • Cloud Architects Jobs Roles and Responsibilities
  • Cloud Architect Salary
  • Cloud Architect Certifications
  • How to become a Cloud Architect?
  • 3 Reasons To Become a Cloud Architect Now

What is Cloud Computing?

To put in simple terms, Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, database, networking, etc., over the Internet, as it offers faster innovation, flexibility, resources, and economies of scale.

Cloud Computing can also be understood as the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.

With the help of cloud computing technology, business owners can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, without having to buy, own, or maintain physical data centers and servers. This can be done on an as-needed basis from any of the cloud service provider.

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One major benefit of using this technology is that organizations can avoid upfront cost and the complexity associated with owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. Instead, they can simply pay for what they use, whenever they use it.

Cloud Computing technologies come in 3 different types:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS).

Each of the above mentioned Cloud Computing types provides different levels of control, flexibility, and management enabling businesses to select the right set of services as per their needs.

Overall, we can say Cloud Computing is one of the transformative innovations of the IT sector and is completely changing the field for the better. With the introduction of this technology, numerous career opportunities have been emerging for the IT professionals The profession of the Cloud Architect is one such.

So, let us understand in detail about Cloud Architect.

What is Cloud Architect?

Over the years, the IT industry has become more complex, and numerous types of IT architect jobs have been evolved. Some of the job types, such as enterprise architect, application architect, and storage architect, have evolved. Similarly, the role of the Cloud Architect has also gained ascendancy.

Cloud architecture is that on which all the necessary components and capabilities to build a cloud are connected in order to deliver an online platform on which applications can run. Cloud architecture refers to different components in terms of databases, software capabilities, and applications, etc., that are engineered to leverage the power of cloud resources to solve business problems.

Did You Know? Dropbox continues to be the leading cloud storage provider with 47.3% of the market. Other top services include Google Drive (26.9%) and Microsoft OneDrive (15.3%) – Source: techjury

Cloud Architects are responsible for planning and designing cloud environments based upon the requirements of an organization. These Cloud Architects take responsibility for developing a company’s computing strategies that include:

  • Cloud Adoption Plans
  • Application Architecture
  • Design as well as Cloud Deployments.

These professionals are responsible for bridging the gaps between the complex business problems and solutions in the cloud.

Some other professionals of the technology team, such as DevOps engineers and Developers work with Cloud architects to make sure that the right technology or technologies are being built.

Role of a Cloud Architect in the success of the Cloud Computing technology

Cloud Architect is a relatively new job profile and various organizations assign different kinds of roles and responsibilities to these professionals based upon their needs. Now that you have understood what Cloud Architect is, let us study some of the roles assigned to Cloud Architect in various organizations.

Cloud Architect Job Description:

Cloud Architects are the professionals operating at the forefront of transformational Cloud technology to help their enterprises or customers to avail the benefits of this technology and run their applications efficiently.

Cloud Architects Jobs Roles Responsibilities
  • As a Cloud Architect, you will be the technical resource to help the organization to navigate it through operational challenges of Cloud Computing. You will be the professional who is addressing complex technical problems
  • Possessing the right balance of Technical, Analytical, and Communication skills can make you a unicorn for your company
  • You must partner with engineering managers and developers, and need to understand their challenges and work through their issues
  • You should make sure that the platform and associated tools being developed across the teams come together to form the optimal solution set
  • You would be driving discussions regarding incidents trade-offs, best practices and risk management
  • You are expected to constantly seek out the best ideas and technologies in order to deliver efficient and high-quality Cloud Infrastructure solutions and follow the best principles of well-architected Cloud Framework.

Some of the other important roles Cloud Architect are assigned are as follows:

  • Expertise in writing, debugging and optimizing code, and automating the routine task
  • Routinely research, analyze, test, retest, and troubleshoot the complex problem
  • Decide the right vendors for the business
  • Acknowledge the right systems to the pertained business
  • Work closely with the business to understand and incorporate non-functional requirements in the application architecture
  • Applications deployment and the data migration on AWS or Azure
  • Handling multiple consulting projects and handling complex issues for customers
  • Engaging with C-level executives to define Enterprise cloud strategies
  • Take participate in various conferences and engage in other various associated activities.
  • Build, lead, and mentor a world-class development and engineering team.

Top Skills and Qualifications required to Become a Cloud Architect?

Cloud Architects must possess certain skills set to reach a new height in the career. Since it is a constantly evolving field, it demands of professionals to stay updated with all the latest technologies and trends.

The Gartner analysts say that “The Cloud Architect should have a variety of technical and nontechnical skills, but above all, the Cloud architect must be great collaborator in order to empower and connect with a verity of other architecture roles in your organization”.

Below is a list of both technical as well as soft skills that Cloud Architects need to possess:

Cloud Architect skills:

Skills specification for Cloud Architect professionals varies across different organizations depending upon the organization’s specific cloud infrastructure. It is always advised that candidates keep updating their knowledge about the upcoming technologies in this field to stay competitive in the IT market.

The factor that separates best Cloud Architects from the rest is their ability to utilize the skills they have learned to maximize value for their employers. There are several certification courses provided by online educational platforms such as Simpliv to help aspiring candidates in this regard.

Now let us discuss some of the technical and soft skills that a Cloud Architect must possess.

Skills Required To Become Cloud Architect

Technical skills required:

  • Knowledge of an operating system: If you are an aspiring candidate to become a Cloud Architect, then having knowledge of at least one of the operating systems is very important for you. You need to learn any one of the operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix, Ubuntu, etc. It is essential for candidates to be familiar about advantages, disadvantages and all other related concepts of the Operating Systems. 
  • Good understanding of Networking: It is very difficult to create a secure, scalable cloud-based solution without having a good understanding of networking. So it is very important to be familiar with some of the vital concepts of networking viz TCP/IP, IP address, HTTP, DNS.
  • Knowledge of Data storage: Every Cloud Architect needs to have knowledge of how and when to use databases. In AWS, which provides plenty of data storage options, you should know which one you need to use. These professionals need to have knowledge of infrastructure and hardware, storage buckets, etc.
  • Programming languages: It is advantageous for any professional willing to become a successful Cloud Architect to have knowledge of writing codes using any one of the programming languages. In the last few years, some programming languages like Perl, Python, and Ruby have risen to prominence in the cloud ecosystem. Some other programming languages like Java, .NET also continue to remain popular.
  • DevOps: Developmental Operations or DevOps is one of the important concepts. It is a method of software development that takes the entire software lifecycle into account, from planning to use and maintenance. DevOps is one of the popular web frameworks in the cloud computing industry and it is very beneficial for Cloud Architects to know what it is and how they can work with it.

Soft Skills required:

  • Communication: Good communication skills are very important for Cloud Architects. These professionals are involved in the process of conducting meetings, coordinating with all kinds of people including managers, technical experts, customers, etc. So, they need to have good communication skills.
  • Leadership: Cloud Architects are not responsible for analyzing the cloud’s performance, but they are responsible for leading and managing the technology team. So these professionals are required to possess strong, effective leadership skills so that the technology team can accomplish their goals efficiently.
  • Planning and organizing: Proper planning and organizing is very important. So, Cloud Architects must possess planning and organization skills in order to make and manage action plans for projects that may take a lot of time to complete.
  • Business Strategy: Cloud Architects must realize in advance  what is important to their business or to their organization, and should hence focus on technologies and solutions that most likely improve productivity. Hence these professionals must understand business strategy and prioritize their technology recommendations and guidance accordingly. 

Start Building The Cloud Computing Skills You need

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Cloud solutions Architect Qualifications:

Now let us some of the desired qualifications of Cloud Architect professionals.

Basic qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree, Masters/MBA/Ph.D. degree preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including group leadership and executive presentations
  • Hands-on knowledge of programming languages such as React, Node JS, Python, Java, Go, etc.
  • Strong problem-solving program management skills
  • Expertise in data protection concepts
  • Experience with build tools, CI/CD, DevOps, and Agile principles.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in Managed Service provider – managing IT environments on behalf of customers
  • Experience and Certification in ITIL and DevOps
  • AWS Solutions Architect Certificates: Associate, Developer, Professional.

Education Details:

Individuals who want to pursue their career in this profession need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in any related discipline. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.

In addition, having good knowledge of programming language and some related skills is an advantage for the candidates.

Cloud Architects Jobs Roles and Responsibilities

Some of the jobs associated with Cloud Architect are as follows:

  • Platform Architect
  • Senior Technology Architect
  • Principal Enterprise Architect
  • Lead System Architect
  • Infrastructure Architect.
Cloud Architects Job Roles And Responsibilities

Let us discuss in detail about the roles and responsibilities of each of these job titles.

  • Platform Architect: As per a report given by LinkedIn, the average salary of Platform Architects in the United States is about $150,000/year.

Roles and responsibilities include:

    1. Write code, perform testing, and debugging of applications using the latest programming language and technologies.
    2. Write technical specifications based on conceptual design and stated business requirements
    3. Interact with product managers and users to define system requirements.
  • Senior Technology Architect:  As per a report given by LinkedIn, the average salary of Platform Architects in the United States is about $125,000/year.

Roles and responsibilities include:

    1. Provide architectural assessments, strategies, and roadmaps for identified client service innovations
    2. Work closely with the corporate IT team in areas such as security protocols, application integrations, and product support.
    3. Lead in all aspects of resulting projects that include technology identification acquisition and deployment, UI design, and access provisioning.
  • Senior Information Technology Architect: As per a report given by LinkedIn the average salary of Principal Enterprise Architect in United States is about $168,000/year.

Roles and responsibilities include:

    1. Develop the long-term strategic roadmap for all Enterprise Systems architecture in line with business priorities and objectivities.
    2. Define and document standard business systems and processes for cross team, delivery of business capabilities.
    3. Organize training to improve employee’s knowledge and skills for future organizational growth.
  • Lead System Architect: As per a report given by LinkedIn the average salary of Lead System Architect in the United States is about $137,000/year.

Roles and responsibilities include:

    1. Work closely with the Customer engineering and technical staff on SE process definition and execution.
    2. Support SE integration across the analysis, design, development, and testing teams.
    3. Coordinate and help lead SE process execution across the entire team.
  • Infrastructure Architect: As per a report given by LinkedIn the average salary of Infrastructure Architect in the United States is about $126,000/year.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Need to lead project activities to conduct system performance reviews and define configuration settings for optimal system performance
  • Need to communicate project processes, progress by interacting with the customer to support customer expectations and support customer adoption
  • Need to support project management activities to control scope, cost, schedule, and quality. 

Top 5 companies

Today, we can see most companies are willing to hire Cloud Architects. Companies that work across different industries such as finance, e-commerce, health care, retail prefer hiring these professionals.

Now we will provide a list of some of the top 5 companies that prefer to hire Cloud Architect professionals. Here is the list:

  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • Google

Cloud Architect Salary

Cloud Architects professional is the most desired job of the present IT era. The salary of these professionals varies, depending upon several factors peculiar to the individual, such as their qualifications, work experience, type of project, country or city in which they are working and organization for which they are working, etc.

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Credit: LinkedIn

As per the LinkedIn reports, the median salary of Cloud Architects in the United States is about $140,000/year. The industries that are offering the highest pay packages for Cloud Architects are:

  • Consumer goods
  • Corporate services
  • Finance
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Software & IT services etc.

Top Paying Locations:

Some of the top paying locations of the United States are:

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Greater Minneapolis – St. Paul Area
  • Greater Seattle Area
  • Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
  • New York City Metropolitan Area.

Cloud Architect Certifications

If you have been working in the IT sector, becoming a certified professional over the years will give your career an edge. In addition to earning a degree in a particular IT sector, it is also beneficial for you to pursue different level certifications that make you a sought-after candidate. Certification also helps you stand ahead of your competitors while searching for a job.

In the field of Cloud Computing, several companies are offering certification courses and they validate your skills, knowledge, and expertise to the organizations. Each of the certificates offered by different organizations has something different to offer. So it is very important to choose the right certificate that closely aligns with your career goals and get certified.

So here is a list of different cloud certifications provided from different vendors that you can consider to opt for:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon provides several certifications for professionals who want to uplift their career to a new height. Among these, one of the important certifications that Cloud Architect professionals need to consider is AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

    AWS Solutions Architect Associate Training Find Upcoming Batches!

    This certification recognizes IT professionals that possess the skills and technical knowledge that are necessary for designing, deploying, and operating applications and infrastructure on AWS.

    In addition to this certificate, AWS offers some other levels of certifications such as associate-level, professional-level, and specialty-level. Candidates need to follow certain guidelines and prepare in a systematic manner to obtain these certifications.

    You can read this blog for details about path get to know about all the certifications provided by Amazon:

    Top 12 AWS Certifications | Right AWS Certification
  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest growing cloud providers. As more and more organizations are moving their IT infrastructure to Microsoft’s cloud platform, the demand for Azure professionals is increasingly gradually.

    Microsoft now offers a large number of role-based Azure certifications and these roles include administrators, Developer, Architect, and DevOps Engineer, etc.

    Aspiring Cloud Architects can pursue a Microsoft Azure Solution Architect certificate that provides them  good recognition in the IT market. This certification exam requires expertise in computing, network, storage, and security to design solutions that run on Azure.
  • Google professional cloud architect: The Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect is one of the important certifications that candidates can consider  pursuing. This certification is offered by Google. It is considered as one of the top paying IT certifications of the year 2019.
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Certifications: Oracle provides several certifications for IT professionals who are willing to work in this cloud computing domain. Oracle provides many levels of certification such as foundational-level, associate-level, and professional-level. You can explore supporting Oracle training solutions we have to offer here.

    Aspiring Cloud Architects can pursue the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Associate Certification that provides them a detailed understanding of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services and provides a competitive edge for industry professionals.
  • VMware Certified Professional: VMware is a global leader in building the foundations of Virtualization technology. VMware offers the required cloud certification in cloud management and automation. This certificate increases your credibility in the organization.

How to become a Cloud Architect?

Cloud Architect profession is a key role and is in very high demand. With a continued exponential growth forecasted over the coming few years, it can be estimated that opting to be a Certified Cloud Architect is definitely the right choice.

Now let us discuss some of the steps or guidelines that help you to become a Cloud Architect professional:

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    1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree:
    Anyone who wants to become a Cloud Architect is advised to earn a bachelor’s degree in any of these fields: software engineering, computer science or in any other related field.

    2. Learn Cloud Computing concepts:
    Learning the basic concepts of Cloud Computing is very important to become a Cloud Architect professional. You need to have answers for questions like What is Cloud Computing, which are the services offered by cloud providers, etc., and you need to know why so many industries are adopting Cloud Computing technology.

    Understanding the Cloud Computing technology will help to get more clarity about Cloud Architect’s job role, and hence you can plan your preparations accordingly.

    3. Get practical exposure:
    Before you register for any certifications, it is important for you to get practical exposure to all the tools and software using which you are going to provide a solution to the problems related to cloud infrastructure.

    Having a brief knowledge of such tools and software prove to be very beneficial for you in your journey of becoming a Certified Cloud Architect path.

    4. Build your skills set:
    Knowing what all skills sets you need to learn is very important. This includes both technical as well as soft skills.

    You need to consider learning all the skills set that we have discussed in this blog. During this learning process, you can enroll for online courses provided by online educational platforms such as Simpliv. These courses are proven to be very beneficial to you and give you complete knowledge about the subject.

    Learning these skills set makes you feel more confident and encourages you to apply for cloud certification exams.

    5. Register for certification:
    Certifications always bring a lot of advantages to any professional. They add great value to your resume and recognize you as one of the strong competitors among others while you applying for a job.

    The other advantage of obtaining certifications is, some of the organizations intend to provide a better paycheck to certified professionals as compared to non-certified professionals. So, always consider being a certified professional.

    The other important matter to be noted here is, since many organizations provide their own certifications to employees working in the Cloud Computing domain and all of them have their own advantages,  it is very important to choose the right certification that helps you take your career to a new height.

    6. Apply for jobs:
    Now if you learnt all the concepts related to Cloud Computing, knew all the required skills set, and have successfully obtained Cloud Architect certifications, then it is the right time for you to apply for jobs.

    You can consider applying for a Cloud Architect job in some of the popular job portals mentioned below:
    • KDnuggets jobs
    • Glassdoor
    • Indeed
    • LinkedIn.

    Apart from the above-mentioned job portals, you can find jobs through other means:

    • By visiting the company website
    • Through your professional’s network
    • Through social media
    • Using Emails
    • By participating in various conferences, webinars, seminars, etc.

3 Reasons To Become a Cloud Architect Now

Now, if you are curious to know why one should pursue a Cloud Architect role and what the prospects of this career are, then read further, as we are listing here some of the top reasons why one should become a Cloud Architect professional.

1. Expanding market:

Most of the technology partners have realized the potential of Cloud Computing and have started implementing Cloud Computing technology. One important aspect to be noted here is that industries of all sizes, from large enterprises to small and medium enterprises, are adopting this technology.

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Source: Grand View Research

As per the report given by Grand View Research Cloud Computing size was valued at USD 266.0 billion in the year 2019 and is expected to expand at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 14.9% from the year 2020 to 2027. Some of the factors such as growth in the digital transformation among industries, increase in consumption of big data etc., have led to the growth of the Cloud Computing market.

Experts believe that this rising trend gives ample opportunities for Cloud Computing professionals, including Cloud Architects, in the coming years.

2. High Demand:

As per a research around 83% of enterprise workloads set to be cloud-based by 2020. So, the number of organizations looking to recruit IT professionals with Cloud Computing skills is increasing gradually.

Due to this, demand for Cloud Architect professionals has continued to increase exponentially across the globe and is set to accelerate in the coming years.

Job opportunities for an expert Cloud Architect are immense. If you have all the skills sets and have obtained a Cloud Architect certificate, then it is possible that you find a meaningful, in-demand job in a reputed company.

3. High salary:

Cloud Architect is one of the very interesting jobs if you are interested in Cloud Computing technology. Professionals working in this role are likely to get a higher paycheck. However, salary ranges can widely vary across individuals. It completely depends upon many factors such as education, obtained certifications, known skills set, experience, etc.

The above mentioned are a few prime reasons why one can opt for pursuing a Cloud Architect role.

Conclusion:

Dear readers, we hope that through this blog we have given detailed information about the Cloud Architect role. This information is aimed at helping people who are thinking of pursuing a career as a Cloud Architect. There is no doubt that this is the most in-demand job one can opt for.

In addition to the above details, we would like to share a link of online courses exclusively designed for you to help you to start building your career in the Cloud Computing arena. After going through all the information, if you think something more should have been discussed in this blog, then please share such messages with us in the comment section. We always welcome your valuable feedback.

Now Let’s Start Learning!

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