Cloud software applications are gaining momentum as a viable software delivery method. Today we’d like to discuss the skills required to manage Cloud applications. Historically Systems Applications Managers were focused on developing the on-premises infrastructure necessary to support software where they would have control and could manage the resources to maintain them. Cloud software, on the other hand, outsources the support and maintenance of the system to a vendor and requires a different approach and skill set to manage the vendor and the application. The following are some key areas and skill sets necessary to support a Cloud application that organizations that are moving to the Cloud should consider:
Vendor Management – Rather than just relying on the vendor for occasional version releases, updates, and support, you rely on them 24x7x365 to deliver the application. You need to have a good relationship with your vendor client manager, and at the same time watch the vendors’ operational and financial health as they support your business.
a. Business Knowledge
b. Technical Knowledge
c. Interpersonal Skills
Contract Management – Cloud software agreements are governed by a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The SLA should define exactly what , how, and how quickly the vendor is required to deliver the software application and/or support. It includes contingencies and assurances for downtime as well as other agreements. You need to be able to monitor and report on the performance of the vendor on a daily basis.
a. Purchasing Skills
b. Negotiation Skills
c. Business Knowledge
IT Security and Data Center Knowledge – Because the software is running remotely, understanding IT Security concepts is much more important in managing cloud delivery than it is with on-premises solutions. Knowledge of hosting and data centers will help you identify and mitigate risks to the vendor that could affect service delivery.
a. IT Security Knowledge
b. Data Center Operations Understanding