Banks aren't advertising for 'cloud engineers,' but that doesn't mean cloud computing won't be hot

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The increasingly common wisdom is that financial services firms will continue to embrace cloud computing and that smart techies should develop their understanding of the issues around this area. But, are cost and security still preventing widespread adaptation?

Certainly the bigger players still seem to be holding off whole-heartedly jumping into cloud computing until it becomes better established.

Ashley Davis, managing director, datacenter strategy at JPMorgan, told a recent industry conference that it was "not yet convinced of the economic and security issues" around cloud computing. He did that "there is opportunity for cloud once it starts to mature for us".

To be fair, these concerns seem to be diminishing, and the likes of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and State Street are all building on their existing internal clouds.

IT consultancy Gartner also highlighted cloud computing as one of the key areas of technology investment within financial services this year.

Duncan Johnson-Watt, CEO of cloud computing software and services firm Cloudsoft Corporation, says: "A lot of financial services firms, which may have been concerned by security issues, are establishing private clouds and slowly moving towards a hybrid structure with a trusted third-party provider."

There's the argument that should cloud computing really take off, the likes of networking professionals and systems administrators could find themselves redundant. But Johnson-Watt believes techies will simply have to adapt their skills as firms evolve their IT environment towards cloud computing.

"You're never going to see jobs advertised for a 'cloud engineer', for instance, but the smart people are climbing up the learning curve around the underlying technologies, such as virtualisation or bare metal clouds," he says. "Combining infrastructure-as-a-service knowledge with an understanding of middleware is increasingly desirable."

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