2014 has been a pretty good year for Microsoft, ending strong with impressive sales growth from Microsoft Office, Skype, Nokia, Azure and Xbox.
Right now, investors and tech enthusiasts alike are speculating about the monetization of Windows 10 in the new year (skipping a Windows 9 iteration altogether). Here's a first look at Windows 10 that was leaked on WinBeta.
As the cloud, big data, security, web-based applications and virtualization continue to capture the interest of most industries through the new year, enterprises will demand skills in Microsoft’s Windows platform and related Microsoft software solutions in 2015.
Companies will require PowerShell skills to manage the Windows Server stack, skills with Microsoft Azure for cloud IaaS offerings, which are increasingly entering the market, and skills with SQL and SharePoint BI for Big Data applications, which are growing in popularity.
“Attack vectors and threats that face the modern enterprise continue to focus on the Windows platform,” says Adam Gordon, CTO, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of South Florida. Candidates who can address these challenges will be in need through 2015 and beyond.
Enterprises must adhere to regulatory demands, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and the PCI-DSS. Candidates who can keep Windows systems in compliance should have work through next year and into the future.
“The market for cloud-based email and productivity software such as Microsoft Office 365 will broaden through 2015,” says Gordon.
Virtualization of computing using Microsoft Hyper-V will remain a key skill as an enterprise approach to utilization of resources in Windows environments.
IPv6 and network virtualization are advancing cloud services. Knowledge of both will give network administrators an edge moving forward. “Windows-specific skills in this area include understanding Hyper-V network virtualization,” Gordon says.
“Every vertical industry that uses Windows-based infrastructure will have demands for people with these skills,” Gordon says.
Any industry relying on virtualization and cloud-based technologies to consume or deliver services to customers would apply here such as financial services, outsourcing providers of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions, and the partner ecosystem that supports these services, including Systems Integrators.
The second reason is the lack of clear certification paths or roadmaps that are easily accessible and understood by both IT professionals and hiring enterprises.
The final reason for the Windows skills shortfall is the lack of a strategic vision, defined by vendors, to clearly communicate the business value of certified professionals in organizations that specialize in these technologies.
This article was written by David Geer, technology writer and journalist.