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Many contours, many questions in developing a cloud strategy- Valutrics

Builder of a cloud future

Jayapal Boompally, principal software engineer at biotech Amgen Inc., in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was interested in a role intended to burnish an organization’s cloud acumen: cloud architect. That’s an IT leader who puts the organization on a “cloud-first” strategy — that is, cloud computing for all new initiatives unless there’s a good reason not to go to cloud.

Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf gave a talk on the role, saying the prime responsibility of a cloud architect is “getting organizational buy-in, encouraging people to trial and play with cloud services, giving them the opportunity and the freedom, letting them make some mistakes, giving them the growth mindset so that, over time, you build up an army of individuals that are behind this movement.”

That’s a broad portfolio, especially for a role that is fairly new. But the cloud architect position has gained in popularity over the last few years — there were 777 openings as of July, Hilgendorf said. And the position does seem to make a difference in developing a cloud strategy that organizations deem effective.

Hilgendorf cited a Gartner survey that found 39% of organizations already have a cloud architect, and 60% of those that do feel prepared to take full advantage of cloud services. Conversely, only 33% of organizations without one feel prepared.

Amgen has a corps of traditional enterprise architects who work with architects from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud division, to sift through regulations outlined The Amgen enterprise architects do some of the work cloud architects do, such as developing cloud architecture, he added. None has the title of cloud architect, though, or the added leadership responsibilities of developing a cloud strategy for the entire company. But Boompally does see a day when someone is appointed, because the person in that role can empower others to make proper decisions concerning cloud.

“It will come from inside, probably from the enterprise architects,” he said. “They know pretty much all the systems, so they can easily tell what type of tools and strategy are a better fit for our company.”

Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf describes the cloud architect role at Gartner Catalyst on Aug. 21.
Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf describes the cloud architect role at Gartner Catalyst on Aug. 21.