Written by Kevin Heisey
on March 22, 2022

Organizations are rapidly bringing on new technology as they look to the Cloud to become more cost efficient, improve delivery speed and enhance organizational resilience. Approximately 67% of organizations plan to be Cloud-native within the next 3 years which is a significant increase from only two years ago. However, as organizations flock to the Cloud, the number of skilled people and their inability to keep pace with the increasing amount of new technology is a major limiting factor.

According to a Gartner survey of over 400 global enterprises , talent shortages are a significant barrier to successfully adopting and implementing new technology. In 2021, 64% of those surveyed responded that it was the most significant challenge, up from 4% in 2020. While organizations are motivated to embrace the Cloud, their staff has limited experience and training, especially for the specific Cloud tools that best fit their unique business needs. The market for Cloud technology is evolving so rapidly that it is almost impossible for the talent skills market to keep pace. Rather than turn to the external marketplace to bridge the talent gap, there are clear benefits to developing the skills of your existing staff.

 Upskill Internally

Cloud best practices aren’t one-size-fits-all, they are nuanced and context-specific. Organizations have unique needs. Rather than bring in new staff, it can be better to build on the existing skills and knowledge of your current employees. They already understand your business objectives and legacy technology. You can leverage their knowledge to develop the right Cloud architecture and solutions that best fit your organization.

Teams can learn while doing in an applied, hands-on environment to eliminate gaps between learning skills, applying skills and delivering value. Instead of trying to fit pre-packaged Cloud solutions to your existing work, teams can follow a learning path that starts from your business objective and moves toward a custom fit tailored by the people who know your business the best. Working in high-functioning teams and learning from one another is great for retention and it mitigates the risk of losing your organization’s Cloud knowledge if your “Cloud expert” leaves.

Leverage Outside help

Training courses and certifications can be a great introduction to Cloud technology, but they don’t provide the specific skills needed for your organization. Your teams learn best while applying new concepts in their working environment and its specific systems. Outsourcing by handing over Cloud responsibility to an external partner puts you at risk of locking into a provider that may not be the best fit. A better option for leveraging outside help is to collaborate with a partner that has Cloud expertise, an understanding of your business and is technology and tool agnostic.

Your partner should develop their processes and procedures from collaborating with you to determine the best path forward, the Cloud technology to achieve your business objectives and the best way to upskill your staff. Their experts should be embedded with your teams to work and train together using a hands-on, dojo approach that delivers immediate value while your teams upskill for the long-term. Your teams become the experts in the Cloud technology and skills that apply best to your organization and drive ongoing future internal upskilling.

Establish a Cloud Center of Excellence

An effective Cloud Center of Excellence is a group of people inside an organization who live and breathe Cloud, learning from each other, sharing knowledge and bouncing ideas off one another. The group can help identify and address skills gaps and organizational cultural issues that hinder Cloud adoption. They can also establish best practices and teach them throughout the organization.

To get the most from a Center of Excellence, it cannot just be a resource and guidance repository that team members use in isolation. To develop and spread Cloud expertise throughout the company, the Center of Excellence must be a platform for collaboration and include mechanisms for disseminating knowledge across teams by implementing tactics like secondments or job rotations.

Upskilling your existing staff, leveraging outside expertise and creating a Cloud Center of Excellence can grow your teams’ Cloud skills and establish best practices in parallel with your adoption of Cloud tools and technology. This creates a firm foundation to optimize your Cloud spending, positions you well for future Cloud opportunities and ensures you have the skilled staff necessary to succeed.