Dealing with the cloud computing skills gap

Perspectives

Dealing with the cloud computing skills gap

Culture & Talent view

So, you’re moving to cloud? A critical success factor is to have staff with the skills required to maintain cloud-based systems. Most enterprises moving to cloud don’t have those people on staff, people with skills adequate enough to make things work.

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

It’s time to deal with the cloud computing skills gap. Simply put, this gap is the difference between the skills currently on staff, and the skills needed to both stand up and maintain cloud-based systems effectively. For some enterprises, this gap is narrow. For others, it’s as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Let’s walk through the process to deal with your own cloud computing skills gap, and address ways to help close that gap altogether:

Dealing with the cloud computing skills gap

As-is assessment

This is where you are now, the skills that you already have on staff. To define this, you need to do an inventory of related cloud computing skills. Typically, this looks at a few major areas that include:

  • Cloud architecture
  • Cloud security
  • Cloud governance
  • Cloud operations
  • Cloud and DevOps
  • Specific cloud brand skills (e.g., AWS)

Keep in mind that these are typically subjective assessments, with forced ranking based upon consistent criteria. In many instances, these skills will not only be lacking, but nonexistent. That’s okay, as long as you get a good view as to where you are in terms of skills.

Defining to-be

The hardest part is to figure out what you need, or the to-be state. Here you take the same skill categories as defined above but align them to where they need to be as you move toward or maintain cloud-based systems.

This is just another skills inventory, one that focuses on skills that you’ll need. The people who are defining and planning cloud computing for the enterprise can help define the skills required to both get you there and keep you there.

Typically this produces a complex array that ranges from general operations and monitoring skills to those very technically-specific skills, like “AWS Machine Learning,” for example. The idea is to define the requirements that will define the skill sets required to be successful in the cloud.

Minding the gap

Now that we have the as-is and the to-be skills inventories, we need to determine what the gap is and how it can be closed over time. There are three strategies to consider:

  • Training: Leverage inside or outside training to help provide the required cloud computing skills to existing staffers.
  • Hiring: Find net new employees that bring the required cloud computing skills. This could also mean hiring outside consulting, or other contract employees.
  • Replacing: Consider replacing existing staffers with staff that have the required skills. This may also mean reducing the number of as-is staffers due to the fact that fewer of them may be required for a post-cloud computing enterprise.

Of course, there are budgets to consider, including the cost of training, hiring, and displacing staff. Of course, you have cultural changes to consider as well, and other issues that may be local to your company.

Dealing with the cloud computing skills gap is the first problem you need to solve. If you have the required skills on staff, your movement to cloud has a much greater chance of success.

Please visit our cloud services webpage and discover a full suite of service offerings and capabilities available to accompany you throughout your Cloud journey.

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