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10 key skills to succeed as a cloud architect, according to experts


  • The rapid growth of cloud computing has turned cloud architect into one of the hottest jobs in technology.
  • Cloud architects can expect six-figure salaries as high as $200,000, and play critical roles in helping businesses set up their networks on platforms run by Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
  • Here at the top 10 skills you need to succeed in this field, according to veteran cloud architects, including a training guru at Amazon Web Services, the most dominant cloud platform.
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The cloud is growing and so is the need for what is now one of the hottest jobs in tech: that of the cloud architect. 

These are the professionals who help businesses move and maintain their networks in the public cloud, as they scale back or even abandon their private data centers.

It’s a fairly new field, which emerged roughly a decade ago when the mass-migration to the cloud began to pick up speed, going beyond startups and into large enterprises. 

Most cloud architects work with the three major cloud providers — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Public Cloud. Others work with third party firms that offer cloud migration and management services. Amazon Web Services is the most dominant player in this space, with a 33% share of a nearly $100 billion market. Microsoft is second with 16%, followed by Google with 8%, according to Synergy Research Group. 

“With the emergence and adoption of public clouds, cloud architects has been one of the hottest tech careers in IT,”  Bhanu Singh, a senior vice president at OpsRamp, a San Jose-based cloud services platform, told Business Insider. 

“It’s a new discipline, but comes from software architecture,” he said. “With recent, accelerated emergence of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform in the last 2-3 years, it’s now an established and legitimate career path.”

It’s also a lucrative profession. A certified Amazon cloud architect can expect an average annual salary of about $133,000, according to Kevin Kelly, director of certification and education at Amazon Web Services, citing data from Global Knowledge.

John Peak, managing director at Candid Partners, an Atlanta-based cloud consultancy firm, said some entry level cloud architects could make $200,000, including bonuses.

The cloud architect’s role continues to change as the cloud itself is transformed by new trends and technologies, Kelly of Amazon said.

“With cloud becoming the new normal, customers require expert skills to help them plan, design, develop, migrate, and operate applications in the cloud,” Kelly told Business Insider. “The role of a cloud architect is always evolving and needs to span across modern application architectures to help prioritize what changes are needed by each customer.”

Here are the 10 skills you need to thrive in this field, according to Kelly, Peak, Singh and other experts:


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