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Cloud migration can revolutionize the way your business creates products, delivers its services, or connects with its customers. People and processes must also transform to meet this new demand.

One of the major reasons cloud transformations fail is that companies lack in-house cloud skills. Gartner predicts that through 2022, insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay half of enterprise IT organizations’ migration to the cloud by two years or more.

It’s obvious now that after 15+ years in cloud, new technologies do not make infrastructure and operations teams obsolete but, instead, their role evolves and the skills necessary have expanded exponentially.

Your Tenured Team is an Asset

You’re probably well aware that your organization has a wealth of institutional knowledge and cultural practices that are well established. Your staff members that have been around for a while have an understanding of how to get things done efficiently and effectively for your company. This can be a positive and a negative. Positive if the team is willing to change to meet the new demand – or negative if they are resistant to change.

Stephen Orban from AWS has suggested that having a tenured staff is truly an advantage to your organization’s cloud transformation. In his blog, “You Already Have the People You Need to Succeed with the Cloud,” Orban states, “Everyone you need to move forward with the cloud is already there, you just have to enable them.”

Your team understands how your business works, and providing them with the opportunity to learn how to marry their existing skills with cloud technologies will shortcut the skills and knowledge gap when moving to the cloud.

Upskilling + Reskilling vs. Hiring New Talent

Upskilling is teaching your employees new skills so they can thrive in their current position. This is really helpful if your team members are going to remain in their current position, and maintain their current responsibilities, plus have to take on new technologies.

Reskilling is teaching existing employees new skills to do a different or new job. This is something we seen often in larger organizations. It often takes the effort of the employee to identify the need, attain the new skill(s), and then move on to the new role.  However, with Cloud transformation, you should be pinpointing the right employees to be reskilled and providing them with a path to obtain this new knowledge and experience for the cloud.

Hiring new employees is possible, but it’s not a quick fix. It is very difficult to find, recruit, and onboard highly skilled cloud architects. Not only are these individuals in high demand, but they warrant a higher salary and may not be skilled in helping your team transform in the process. Many times, these individuals are solely skilled in cloud and don’t understand the on-premise architecture that exists in your environment today. In addition, someone from outside your company also requires onboarding into your existing culture and time to understand your legacy processes.

Upskilling and reskilling are both a smaller investment and provide a quicker return on investment than hiring and training new employees.

Skills and Job Shifts in Cloud

There are three types of skills that are important to develop for Cloud:

  1. Technical Skills – Strong and broad technical skills in cloud, cloud architecture, and cloud tooling is important. In addition, the ability to think analytically, work in an agile way, and understand the perspectives of development, operations, and security are key.
  2. Interpersonal Skills – Due to the rapid nature of change in cloud, collaboration and communication skills are in high demand. The ability to work globally, evangelize ideas and persuade individuals that don’t report directly to you is also important in the agile structure of cloud. In addition, helping team members learn to mentor others and receive mentorship can build a better structure for continuous learning.
  3. Business Skills – Technical teams that can translate business goals into development terms can help your organization succeed in cloud. Having goals align and enabling teams to identify business value in all their interactions can help create the necessary customer champions at all levels of your organization.

Here are some examples of jobs pre-cloud to post-cloud.

Cloud transformation is not just a technology change; it forces a change to your organization structure and the way people work. It requires an evolution of your people and their skills and will not tolerate the traditional siloed method of building and managing your applications on-premise. Your existing team can be a true asset to your cloud transformation if you enable them to upskill and reskill in the process.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to upskill and reskill your team to enable a successful cloud migration, contact us.

-Stefana Muller, Sr Product Manager, DevOps & Migration

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