From One Tech to Another - Investing in your evolution with Azure
Kenny Johar Singh
Cloud Solution Architect
I am what you would call, an atypical computer nerd. I fit the computer nerd criterion with my love of technology, my job as a Cloud Solution Architect and my strong understanding of cloud and mobile technology which I use to help customers and partners digitally transform through Microsoft's platforms.
But there is another side to me – the cross training, aerobic exercising, weight lifting psychotherapist and hypnotherapist side, the side that people don’t generally equate with Cloud Solution Architects. But I see a big correlation between these two important parts of my life and that association is bound up in working with people, and through a growth mindset exploring the vast expanse of human potential.
In psychotherapy one of the biggest things we learn is how the human mind works. Psychotherapy revolves around learning the inner workings of the human mind, be that at a conscious or sub conscious level. It is about understanding what you can do in terms of therapeutic techniques to help people who get blocked, helping unleash their power or helping them get over something that is constraining them.
As a Cloud Solution Architect people are an equally important part of my work. I need to be able to build rapport with the partners I work with and analyse what they need and what style or approach I should take based on their specific profile and where they are coming from. I look to see which techniques I can use to get them excited in Microsoft technology and I then help them believe they can deliver on Microsoft technology. Helping partners realise the heights of their potential in enabling their customers to digitally transform is a core part of my role.
But I know the synergies between my two worlds would be without value if I didn’t have access to one of the most ground-breaking products Microsoft have ever released, and that is Microsoft Azure. Azure gives extreme agility and power to the customer, it gives them the skills to understand things better (may that be the health of their business or the experience of their customers). Just like psychotherapy would do on a personal level.
Provisioning infrastructure used to be a time intensive process for any kind of application, on top of which you had to be aware of hundreds of different scenarios – for instance what would happen if one server went down (high availability), what would happen if one of the data centres was blown away or got hit by a cyclone (disaster recovery). But Azure has changed that and what’s more, the scale is astounding. Even the smallest customer can just go to Azure, log on and spin themselves up as many virtual servers as they want. They can also geo distribute so they can spin up a server anywhere in the world, offering not just extreme agility, but the ability to scale up or down based on their own demands.
Azure also provides tremendous computing power which allows businesses to perform deep data analytics to connect better with their customers in terms of understanding what they are using and where the business should invest more effort in and, of course, what they aren’t using ( through telemetry).
In that sense Azure is similar to psychotherapy in that it allows you to get a deep sense of what your customer wants and then gives you infinite scale to create solutions to meet those needs.
Azure is the foundation of a company wanting to digitally transform, to create a better experience for their customers and really succeed commercially. Let’s face it, in 2017 unless you are a very niche company, any business that does not wholeheartedly adopt technology is going to find it very difficult to compete effectively.
Clearly, through the work that I do, I see a fundamental responsibility for us to invest in our evolution, as they say “if you’re not growing you are dying”. And while we work on that on a personal level through exploring our minds, digital transformation through Azure are a step in that direction on a business level.
Getting certified in Azure was one of the hardest certifications I have completed only because I knew very little about it when I first began. But it was also probably one of the most precious experiences I have had because studying for that certification opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities that exist with Azure.
The Azure Skills initiative is a momentous initiative. It is an expansive offering which simplifies and subsidises the entire exam taking process. It is essentially preparing the new generation of Cloud-first, Mobile-First, Customer-first information technology workers.
If you want to invest in your own evolution in our DigitallyTransforming world, getting Azure certification is a sure fire way to start the process.