CIF opens up membership to users in cloud skills push

The Cloud Industry Forum opens doors to IT professionals to help them acquire industry recognition of their off-premise knowledge and skills

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) is inviting IT professionals to join its ranks, as the trade body moves to help users have their expertise in using off-premise technologies recognised.

The industry body has been campaigning since 2009 to promote trust, security and transparency in the cloud market by encouraging service providers and suppliers to undergo self-certification using the terms of its code of conduct for reference.

To date, the organisation has around 40 members and claims to be signing them up at a rate of around one a month. In addition to this, it has now introduced a membership programme specifically for cloud users.

Certifying cloud users

The new programme has already been soft-launched and aims to provide users with access to learning resources, as well as information about the latest industry trends.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, CIF CEO Alex Hilton said the user membership scheme has been in the works for around year.

But despite the involvement of Microsoft, IBM, VMware and the like in the supplier version of its membership scheme, the educational resources offered to cloud users will be completely supplier-agnostic.

“We’re going to maintain an independent, agnostic approach and we’re not going to be recommending one vendor’s technologies over another,” said Hilton.

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“It’s often difficult for individuals to know where to turn to access independent resources, as far as cloud as goes, because vendors are rightly going to promote their own technologies.

"Now, although that technology might be brilliant, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be right for every individual customer in each case,” he added.

The roll-out of this “knowledge hub”, as CIF terms it, will be followed in the summer by the launch of a cloud skills accreditation programme that aims to provide cloud users with industry-recognised certifications, demonstrating their depth of knowledge in cloud.

As such, users will be able to pursue basic, advanced tech and commercial accreditations, covering a wide range of areas including cloud strategy, implementation, situational assessment and management.

According to Hilton, these accreditations will also be supplier-independent and funded directly by CIF. They are also being pitched at IT professionals and cloud procurement specialists.

“What we hopefully will have is a programme that delivers knowledge and content to end users who will be able to undergo a test – or a series of tests – that will enable them to demonstrate that they’ve achieved a certain level of confidence and credibility in cloud,” said Hilton.

“From here, we hope to see people trading on these accreditations in their CVs, as something that is seen as a truly independent and agnostic [badge of honour], rather than just a certification in one technology from one vendor.”

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