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Preparing your migration

Understanding your hybrid cloud skills gap

Hybrid cloud is the most preferred cloud deployment model among businesses and large organisations around the world. However, migrating to a suitable hybrid cloud deployment and getting the most out of it remains a complex proposition. In order to prepare for a cloud migration, organisations need access to a sophisticated set of skills across a number of disciplines including public cloud, private cloud, networking and more.

So how should organisations evaluate whether to push ahead on their own or partner with external experts? We look at three questions IT and business leaders should ask themselves before they commit to hybrid cloud.

Do you have the right people?

Finding people with the right skill set for your organisation’s deployment can be a challenge. The right cloud environment for each organisation to migrate to can be very different. Even with the same platforms, there may be differences in the way that it is set up. The differences can come from the cloud architecture, compliance, network configuration, and operating system management to the applications that are running on the infrastructure.

Therefore, careful planning and identifying the skills you need to meet your business objectives is the first hurdle. Most of the major cloud providers offer certifications in their respective platforms to help you identify talent that is qualified in the areas you need. AWS for example has associate and professional levels for architect, developer and operations roles, with further certifications for specialities including Big Data and advanced networking.

Qualified professionals are in high demand around the world. In Australia for example, the statistics show that over the past year the number of AWS job postings was consistently 6 to 12 times the number of job seekers looking at the roles. According to the 2017 State of the CIO report, 60% of responding CIOs said they are experiencing an on-going skills shortage1. The shortage of skilled professionals is driving up the cost of recruitment as companies compete to attract and retain the best talent. Going forward, it will become increasingly difficult to find the right talents due to the growing competition.

Can you keep up with innovation?

Even with skilled staff in place, organisations can struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation in cloud services. AWS added 1,000 new features and capabilities in 20162 , an average of three new things every day while other cloud services providers are ramping up their speed of innovation and deployment in order to compete.

Serverless architectures, for example, are heralded as one of the next big things for IT optimisation and flexibility; software containers are becoming more widespread as organisations take advantage to minimise development times by creating portable applications that work in any environment.

Cloud architects and DevOps teams will need to spend time constantly learning about these new innovations to understand if and how they can benefit your organisations. Education and certification courses can also bare costs, especially if staff need to be trained up on several different disciplines. They are an investment in the individual, and if that person leaves the business their expertise and investment goes with them.

Is DIY hybrid cloud easily obtainable or a distraction?

Some organisations already employ staff with the relevant skills and knowledge to build and operate hybrid cloud. However, if you remove these individuals from their day jobs to get hands on with this project, there are several other repercussions to the core business. The cloud migration may be delayed as resources become stretched, or business-as-usual issues might take a back seat resulting in poorer experiences for current users and customers. Neither outcome is ideal.

Given the aforementioned challenges, the competitive marketplace for cloud skills, and the need to move quickly with hybrid cloud deployments to achieve strategic business goals, it is no surprise that 84% of Asian companies 3 are turning to cloud consulting partners and managed services providers to help plan their migration.

Professional services and consulting teams can help to create the plan and architecture for deployment, assist in the initial migration, and optimise governance, security and performance. Bringing in certified cloud experts with significant battle-tested experience on migration projects and cloud management can help deliver a strategy from network connectivity through to application and architectures that works for your business.

The question of whether to plan and execute migrations and deployments in-house or partner with a leading technology company may not be a definitive choice, and much like the cloud environment, be a hybrid mix of in-house experience and professional expertise. For more information on how we are helping organisations get the most from hybrid cloud, read our 2018 best practice guide for hybrid cloud here.

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