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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Job posting: Cloud Sourcing Manager (UMich)

The University of Michigan has posted a cloud-oriented position.  This is good news.  (The entire position is included in-line at the end of this post; the U-M job system does not retain job descriptions once the posting date has expired.)  However, based on my reading of the job description, it has a couple of serious flaws.

One, this position is funded for a single year.  Why?  Is this because the cloud is a passing fad?  Or because this position will be able to achieve complete success in a single year?  Why wouldn't this position be funded indefinitely?


[ Edit - I chatted with the hiring manager - Bill Wrobleski @ ITS - and he confirmed that the job actually has funding for at least two years.  This is very, very good news, and shows a much bigger commitment.  I would also highly recommend Bill as a colleague. ]

Two, the job position itself sends mixed messages.  For example, from the Job Summary:
This solution oriented, flexible and proactive manager will be responsible for working with key process stakeholders such as Procurement Services, Office of General Counsel and IT governance groups to establish effective, secure and sustainable cloud sourcing processes for IT-related activities.
OK, so this is going to be a pretty slow-moving effort, working with some of the most careful, cautious organizations.  Work will be in baby steps.  Right?  However, look at the Responsibilities:
Accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions by removing barriers, streamlining processes and supporting the move to cloud solutions.
Creative problem solving and strong strategic thinking skills.  
So work with lots of stakeholders AND accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions? How? (And this second thing looks more like a Required Qualification than a Responsibility.)

So in the spirit of offering constructive criticism, here is my unsolicited, unofficial, revised Job Summary:
Information and Technology Service (ITS) is seeking an experienced Cloud Sourcing Manager to promote a "cloud first" culture at the University of Michigan. This person will be responsible for making it easier to purchase and use enterprise-class cloud services (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Salesforce.com) by collaborating with U-M Procurement Services, Office of General Counsel and IT governance groups. This person will also be responsible for lowering barriers to using consumer-class cloud services (e.g., Dropbox, Lastpass) by conducting regular demonstrations and informational sessions (town halls, brown bags) to bring awareness of cloud resources to the entire U-M community. 
NOTE: this position is funded indefinitely.
So now the person has the opportunity to accelerate cloud use (where it makes sense) while s/he works through the bureaucracy of the U-M to make bigger, systemic changes.  I like this more already!

And now for my unsolicited, unofficial, revised Responsibilities.  First, I should note that I like all of these ones from the original posting:
  • Maintain a broad understanding of cloud marketplace including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. 
  • Manage relationships with cloud vendors including establishing service level standards and reporting. 
  • Participate on and/or lead project teams that are leveraging new cloud-based products. 
  • With appropriate stakeholders, support contract negotiation with cloud providers. 
  • Track the use of cloud services and identify trends and investment opportunities. 
  • Work cooperatively with higher education consortiums [sic] to provide and leverage expertise and combined purchasing power.
Some in the original posting are OK too, but strike me as details of the position (i.e., you need to work with other teams in ITS; and you should make sure that the cloud stuff can work with our existing IT infrastructure). I would not include them any more than I would include responsibilities like attending meetings, reading email, and brushing teeth.

And here are the items I would add.  Mine are really specific:
  • Negotiate an invoicing mechanism with Amazon Web Services (AWS) such that the U-M receives preferential rates based on aggregate campus usage, not individual department usage
  • Using AWS Direct Connect establish a private, secure, low-cost network connection between the U-M campus and the AWS cloud
  • Using AWS Virtual Private Cloud establish a private, secure, virtual data center in the AWS cloud for use by researchers and IT staff at the U-M
  • Organize a campus-wide "Cloud Day" event at U-M similar to events focused on IT security and cyberinfrastructure, where speakers would present information about real-life use-cases using cloud capabilities to solve real problems
  • At least once per month conduct an informational session for some department, institute or similar organization on campus, demonstrating a consumer-grade cloud product, noting its pros and cons, and how researchers and staff may use it safely
I should note that the AWS-related items would also help me out a lot.

And as promised, the original posting:

Cloud Sourcing Manager

How to Apply

A cover letter and resume are required; the cover letter must be PAGE 1 of your resume. The letter should:

(1) specifically outline the reasons for your interest in the position;
(2) outline your particular skills and experience that directly relate to this position; and
(3) include your current or ending salary.

Starting salary may vary depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

Job Summary

Information and Technology Service (ITS) is seeking an experienced Cloud Sourcing Manager to oversee cloud computing activities at the University of Michigan. This solution oriented, flexible and proactive manager will be responsible for working with key process stakeholders such as Procurement Services, Office of General Counsel and IT governance groups to establish effective, secure and sustainable cloud sourcing processes for IT-related activities.

NOTE: this position is funded for 1-year.

Responsibilities*

*Maintain a broad understanding of cloud marketplace including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.
*Manage relationships with cloud vendors including establishing service level standards and reporting.
*Participate on and/or lead project teams that are leveraging new cloud-based products.
*With appropriate stakeholders, support contract negotiation with cloud providers.
*Serve as a single-point-of-contact for cloud-related issues for the campus community.
*Oversee the creation and maintenance of business processes that support the acquisition, operation and retirement of cloud services such as templates and instructional material.
*Work with Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA) to encourage and ensure the use of cloud services follow appropriate security, compliance and privacy standards.
*Accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions by removing barriers, streamlining processes and supporting the move to cloud solutions.
*Work with architecture and technical groups to establish technical integration support to allow cloud services to leverage standard directory, authentication and other interfaces.
*Track the use of cloud services and identify trends and investment opportunities.
*Work cooperatively with higher education consortiums to provide and leverage expertise and combined purchasing power.
*Demonstrate effective staff leadership and development.
*Creative problem solving and strong strategic thinking skills.

Required Qualifications*

*Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, business or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
*Extensive experience with IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services and implementations.
*Broad knowledge of cloud computing marketplace.
*8 years of progressive IT managerial experience.
*Proven project management experience to meet customer expectations and mitigate risk.
*Superb verbal and written communication skills.
*Demonstrated supervisory experience to include: recruiting, mentoring, staff development, performance management, leadership, and/or team building.
*Ability to interact successfully with a wide range of people including faculty, executive leadership, technical staff and other campus groups.
*Strong organizational skills and the ability to successfully complete multiple tasks within established and changing deadlines.

Desired Qualifications*

*Masters Degree in business, technology or related field.
*Experience leading IT efforts in a higher education institution.
*Significant experience managing vendor relationships.
*Experience negotiating contracts and managing ongoing service levels.

Additional Information

The University of Michigan was featured as one of the "Great Colleges to Work For" in the 2011 Chronicle of Higher Education.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


1 comment:

  1. I don't know, Bryan - some people need reminding to brush their teeth.

    ReplyDelete

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