Get cloud-ready

L. N. Revathy | Updated on May 01, 2011

Mr Krishna Kant

EMC on its Information Storage and Management programme.

With the kind of digital explosion that is happening today, management of information is becoming highly complex.

Take, for instance, the (e)mails that you receive or the sites that you glance through everyday, perhaps picking and storing some information that you consider important. Can you imagine the volume of information that you have stored on your system?

An EMC–IDC study predicts that by 2020, over one-third of all digital information created annually will either live in or pass through the cloud. While companies are talking of cloud computing, are they investing and training their workforce to be not just ‘cloud ready' but in being able to provide value for their roles with expertise on cloud computing?

Microsoft, for instance, said last year that the global cloud computing market will be worth more than $70 billion by 2015. This means creation of an additional 3-lakh jobs related to cloud services, such as cloud architects, cloud security architects and cloud capacity planners, among others, in India alone during this period.

To bridge the widening skills gap in the information infrastructure market, EMC launched the EMC Academic Alliance Programme in 2005 with a pilot at the Manipal Institute of Technology. It has since partnered with various engineering and technical institutions across the country to offer the Information Storage and Management (ISM) programme. Excerpts from an interview with Krishna Kant, Senior Programme Manager, EMC – Academic Alliance Programme for South Asia and Russia:

How many students have been through this and what impact has this programme had in India?

We have tied up with 500+ universities for the EAA of which 150+ are in India. Over 30,000 students have been through this programme worldwide; fifty per cent of them from India. EAA in India is expected to enrol 15,000+ students in 2011 alone.

What is the programme duration ?

The duration of the ISM course is 40 hours. It contains six sections with multiple lessons in each section. The course is free for every student and the participating institution too does not have to pay any fee to join the EAA, nor does it involve any financial commitment for training of faculty. The current market environment signals a compelling need for the industry-academia to collaborate to prepare the students to be industry-ready even at campus.

Cloud computing is making waves in IT. What kind of skills are required to implement cloud computing in industry?

Cloud platform is a new IT architecture. While virtualisation is the primary step to a cloud environment and much of the current buzz is focused on server virtualisation, in storage and client devices, security professionals find a major place in the cloud computing environment. Apart from expertise in security, information and infrastructure management skills and storage technology skills are important prerequisites for cloud computing professionals.

How prepared is the industry workforce in managing storage technology and cloud computing?

The EMC–IDC Digital Universe Study titled ‘The Digital Universe in India' reveals that digital information in India will grow from 40,000 petabytes to 2.3 million petabytes over the next decade, twice as fast as the worldwide rate. This will create a significant challenge for CIOs and IT managers because enterprises would have to store, manage and protect data, and the liability would increase as social networking and Web 2.0 technologies impact the enterprise.

While information grows 60-fold, investments in IT and staffing are not rising at the same pace.

What are the career prospects in cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the next big disruptive trend of how enterprises will consume and manage their IT infrastructure and applications. The EMC-IDC study estimates that by 2020 more than a third of all digital information created every year will either live in or pass through the cloud. While cloud places business benefits within reach, such as significant saving in IT budget, facilities optimisation and reduction in complexity, it is expected to result in multiple new roles in IT such as cloud architects, cloud capacity planners, cloud service managers, cloud security architects, process engineers and cloud governance, risk and compliance managers, offering huge opportunity for students and young professionals.

What is India's role in cloud computing?

Governments in countries such as India and Brazil are promoting cloud computing through multiple policies and partnerships. Big-ticket projects such as Unique Identification (UID), huge investments in e-Governance initiatives are steps towards cloud implementation in the country.

Can you compare the EAA initiative in India with the US, Europe or APAC in terms of progress/success?

The EMC EAA was introduced first in India, way back in 2005. Only later was it extended to the US and other markets. India is definitely ahead of the curve, compared with other markets, in progress and success.

According to Nasscom's Perspective 2020 study, the industry is already facing a shortage of employable talent. Companies are hiring people who lack skills, but are trainable. An average company invests 16 weeks to train one employee in technical, soft skills, company orientation and project-specific domain skills. Industry-academia tie-ups can help address such issues by reducing the training time and cost for the organisation; It will also help students take informed decisions about their career during campus recruitment campaigns.


Published on May 01, 2011

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