Addressing Skills Gaps When Migrating to the Cloud

Author: Daniel Lassell
InterVision Industries - finance, healthcare, education, government, manufacturing, legal, entertainment
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If you’ve found that a stalled cloud migration is a result of a cloud-specific skills gaps within your IT department, you might not be alone. Most IT executives (41%) in a recent Pulse/InterVision study noted that their stalled cloud migrations were a result of unanticipated skills gaps. So, what can be done to jumpstart your journey to the cloud again?

Strategizing the Best Path to the Cloud

In the first blog of this series, I discussed the ways that Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) targeting AWS (or Azure) can be a great enabler for a larger cloud migration journey. Here’s a quick recap of the benefits of this approach:

  • DRaaS to AWS or Azure can demonstrate an early win to the rest of the business for wider buy-in before a larger cloud migration
  • DRaaS to the cloud can save costs on Disaster Recovery while establishing a backup plan if the cloud migration goes awry
  • DRaaS targeted to AWS or Azure can help familiarize your IT team with the cloud in a non-production environment, thereby addressing some of the common cloud skills gaps on a traditional IT team

In addition to taking this DRaaS approach to a cloud-first initiative, here are a few tips to alleviate existing skills gaps on your IT team surrounding the cloud.

Fail Fast

Speed to market is everything when it comes to beating your business competitors, so any wasted time could be to the wider detriment of your co-workers. When you fail on any IT project, it’s important to learn from your mistakes quickly and move on. Delaying starting anew by wallowing over what should have happened loses valuable time in continuing your IT project forward.

Choose What Is Core to the Business vs. Not

Every business has a core identity. It will usually be shared in a mission statement, vision statement, elevator pitch, or in the “About Us” section of your website. Essentially, it’s what a business does and why. If an IT project strays from empowering the business to fully realize its core identity, then it might be best to rethink whether that IT project is necessary for the IT team to be doing.

For example, if the core of your business hinges upon e-commerce, then having a working website is essential to your continued viability—which may or may not mean that managing your own tech stack is paramount to accomplishing this mission. However, if managing your own tech stack isn’t necessarily foundational to your business identity, say if your business is focused primarily around retail, then it might be good to offload some aspects of IT management, so you can focus on the things that are core to your business identity.

Offload to Take on More

The purpose of an IT department in any organization is to assist in keeping business running, innovating, and serving customers—thus, making an organization competitive in the marketplace. If burdensome manual tasks are keeping your IT personnel from delivering on this objective, it’s best to look to a third-party vendor for assistance. Remember that you’ve hired your IT talent for a reason: does their current daily routine contribute to that vision? If not, it’s critical to realign your talent with their envisioned roles so that your investments in their talent aren’t going to waste.

Yes, sometimes this means allowing your existing team to learn new solutions, too. For this reason, offloading cloud management to a third party may only be a temporary need, to let your internal IT staff learn the ropes of a new cloud environment before taking it on in a full capacity.

Migrating to the Cloud with a Trusted Partner

InterVision has developed a proprietary program, Cloud Migration Lifecycle Assurance (CMLA), to provide midsize, enterprise and public sector organizations a comprehensive approach to cloud migration, operation and optimization. As an APN Premier Consulting Partner with AWS Migration Competency and 25 years of experience supporting clients in their datacenters, we eliminate the knowledge gap between legacy and cloud systems that stalls most cloud initiatives while mitigating the risk of poor cyber hygiene and cost sprawl. Learn more here.

 

*Pulse, “Cloud Migration Drivers and Challenges” Survey, 2021. 
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