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How many companies have cloud architects?

In this Ask the Expert, analysts James Staten of Forrester Research and Kyle Hilgendorf of Gartner Inc. talk about how the majority of companies don't have a cloud architect, but should.

In the three previous parts of this four-part Ask the Expert, Kyle Hilgendorf, research director at Gartner Inc.,...

and James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research, defined the cloud architect role and explained why companies need cloud architects and which skills in particular are required to be an effective cloud architect. Here, these two cloud experts explain how this role, now rare, is poised to become more common.

Kyle Hilgendorf: I don't have any statistical evidence but … I would say most clients do not yet have a cloud architect. We kind of have to break this down into thirds … Type A, Type B and Type C, or leading-edge adopters, mainstream adopters and laggards. The leading-edge adopters normally have a pretty significant amount of public or private cloud happening already and have thought out their strategy; they're well down the path, and the majority do have cloud architects. When you get into the Type Bs and the Type Cs, or the mainstream and the laggards, the majority of those don't yet have one. Although I am having more conversations on a routine basis with those Type B organizations about, 'All right, we're now starting a cloud strategy area of work; we're trying to figure out who should lead that? What do you recommend?' That's when these cloud architect conversations start to occur.

James Staten: Where we do have good numbers is around the percentage of enterprises that are actively executing today on a cloud strategy, and our latest numbers show that only 30% are doing that. So, if you look at out of the 30%, how many have declared a formal role of cloud architect, it's probably a third of those. That would draw you to the conclusion that probably only 10% of enterprises have a cloud architect today.

James Staten

About the authors:
James Staten is vice president and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester Research. He advises IT leaders on public cloud platforms, CIO-level cloud investment strategies, cloud economics, hybrid cloud and cloud outsourcing, IT cloud readiness, and business and developer engagement on cloud.

Kyle Hilgendorf

Kyle Hilgendorf is a research director in the Gartner for Technology Professionals (GTP) program and is the agenda manager for the consultancy's cloud and virtualization strategies team. He covers public cloud and hybrid cloud, with a focus on cloud technology and providers.

Next Steps

What is a cloud architect?

Why is it vital that companies have a cloud architect?

What specific skills should a successful cloud architect have?

This was last published in September 2014

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Essential Guide

It's more than an IT job -- it's a cloud career

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