Is it better to specialize or generalize in the cloud?
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Is It Better To Specialize Or Generalize In The Cloud?


I’ve written this post reflecting on my own journey in the cloud which is featured with a lot of ups and downs. By this, I wish to provide a little guidance to many individuals out there who are either new to the cloud or just getting in. Those who are challenged with the question – is it better to specialize or generalize in the cloud?

The cloud is a vast domain. And it is increasingly integrating the whole IT landscape in it, from old to new by means of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS models. Other than enabling companies in reducing fixed IT costs, and becoming more agile and innovative, it has offered a lot of opportunities to people looking to get into technology.

It has broken down the walls and let many people trying to get into IT fill the market quickly and easily. Search in LinkedIn for “cloud engineer”, “cloud consultant”, “cloud solutions architect”, you will get an incredible amount of results.

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You are at the beginning of your journey. As you start to read the news and observe what is happening in the domain, you start noticing that it is evolving really quickly. New technologies are being released every single day. New announcements on the upcoming offerings… And you are already puzzled, right at the beginning if you should already specialize or generalize in the cloud.

Don’t rush to specialize yourself.

Unless you have a very strong reason. Take your time to experiment with different parts of the cloud. Are you interested in Data & Analytics, explore that area? Or you are more into AI/ML, there you go. Explore!

The cloud is worth exploring! Whether you like one or more, after a while, you will start to have some feeling where you find yourself the most.

Remember, both specialization and generalization come at a cost.

You have to weigh the pros and cons very carefully before embarking on a long and not-so-easy journey.

Think of the business context as well.

Don’t get caught by the magic of the tech. The technology is not valuable because it is nice and fancy. It is so primarily because it is offering a great capability. The capability that businesses leverage to create value for their customer in an unprecedented way.

In other words, technology is just a means to an end. The business problem it is solving or the opportunity it is creating is what makes it valuable.

I guess you see where I am coming from. When thinking of specialization, do you take the business context into account?

You see the digital economy is featured with a lot of disrupting start-ups. Who are brutally creating new value prepositions within a narrow business context but doing it better than their giant rivals.

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These disruptors who are very specialized in their business domain are born digital. They are cloud-native right from the beginning.

If you do a little research into what kind of profiles they are looking into, you will find more jobs saying: “experience in X business domain” along with “cloud expertise”.

Now decide for yourself, do you still want to remain on the pure tech side. Or, also specialize in the business domain. If you want to be the architect of your career, put down your ambition clear, and sketch a roadmap for that. Where would you see yourself?

Specialize for winning, generalize for seeing the big picture.

Would you see yourself as a brand ready to pick his next challenge? Or let the firms decide based on the tech profile they are looking for. You are the architect of your career. You should decide whether it is better for you to specialize or generalize in the cloud.

Generalizing in the cloud will help you grasp the bigger picture easily. And have a great deal of knowledge on why, when, and how to use a piece of cloud technology for solving business problems.

Specializing on the other hand will put you ahead in the race, where all the business and technology domains are becoming increasingly specialized in nature. As the picture of the future consists of more and more focused businesses, think twice before you weigh in on the choices.

[ Read also: Top 5: Which Cloud Certification Is Best? ]


Adil Gurbanov
Adil is a managing technology consultant at Digital & Emerging Tech of EY Technology Consulting in Amsterdam. Well-versed in the cloud and emerging tech in general, he has designed and led the development of various strategic cloud-based SaaS solutions and worked extensively on large-scale transformation engagements with top-tier organizations.

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