How Much is the Cloud Skills Gap Costing You?

November 24, 2020 - by Synoptek

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In today’s cloud-dominated business environment, many organizations are struggling to find skilled professionals with the required cloud expertise to enable enterprise-wide digital transformation. According to an article by Forbes, the demand for advanced cloud (and security) skills are at an all-time high; but the significant lack of skilled professionals to support the cloud transition, especially in non-tech related industries such as manufacturing, transportation, travel, and education, is proving to be very costly for companies. Today, around 86% of IT decision makers believe shortage of the right talent will slow down their cloud projects in 2020 and beyond.

Cloud’s ability to increase business agility, flexibility, and scalability has led to skyrocketing adoption rates, with Gartner expecting the cloud market to be worth $364.06 billion by 2022. With the promise of a robust, scalable, and cost-efficient solution, why would any company decision-maker hesitate to embrace the cloud?

Despite the many benefits cloud offers, the problem arises when organizations jump into cloud without proper planning or without the skills required to effectively manage their cloud environment. The cloud skills gap has become apparent in three key ways.

  1. Many are unable to accurately assess their environments.
  2. Many lack migration and project management experience.
  3. Many are unable to secure their data in the cloud.

Cloud Skills Gap Implications

Given the rate and pace at which cloud evolves and advances, most company leaders and IT staff members are struggling to get ahead — and, in many cases, simply keep up. The implications of a skills gap tend to be extremely far-reaching. Most organizations end up with one (or more) of the following challenges:

  • Risk of Non-compliance: Not having the right cloud skillsets puts your company at a greater risk of data loss and non-compliance. Specialists can help prevent attacks related to: compromised credentials, hacked interfaces and APIs, exploited system vulnerabilities, account hijacking, malicious insiders, DDoS attacks, and shared technology risks.
  • Subpar ROI: Additionally, in the absence of the right skills, companies fail to achieve the expected ROI they thought they would. For some, a mismanaged cloud environment has become a large and costly problem. The reality is, when you consume something as a service without expert oversight, it’s easy to abuse it, like forgetting to turn off the light after you leave the room.
  • Lackluster Innovation: Given that embracing cloud has become critical for digital transformation, the lack of the right skills can also hinder organizational performance. The lack of the right cloud skills slows the transformation process, while impeding innovation in the short- and long-term.

Filling the Gaps

Filing the cloud skills gap requires organizations to recruit and retain resources across a wide range of cloud capabilities. Listed below are top cloud skills needed to remedy this problem:

  • Big Data: As traditional databases rapidly move to the cloud, resources need to have skills that allow them to manage these complex systems. Knowledge of database query languages and related database platforms are therefore essential for any professional to manage the staggering volumes of data that is being moved every second to the cloud.
  • Application Security: As the focus on security intensifies, the need for cloud experts with skills in application security is at an all-time high. Resources who understand the security challenges that come with cloud, understand security best practices, and have a good know-how of modern tools are extremely sought-after.
  • Enterprise Cloud Migration: Successful cloud implementations are only possible when teams have the capabilities across migration best practices, roadmap building, tool selection, and more. Businesses require cloud professionals with thorough knowledge of their chosen cloud platform to oversee migration projects in an organized and secure way.
  • Containers: With worldwide container management revenue expected to grow to $944 million in 2024, the demand for containerization is snowballing. With more and more businesses opting for container-based architectures, cloud experts also need to have skills across containerization to be able to efficiently build, manage, and maintain these environments in the cloud.
  • Cloud Governance: Cloud teams also need to possess skills in cloud governance to ensure cloud risks are properly identified, evaluated and managed. Having a good understanding of enterprise architecture, security, networking, business continuity and disaster recovery is essential to make the right governance decisions.
  • Enterprise Application Development – As more businesses launch public and private cloud initiatives, the importance of application development and testing in the cloud is increasing. Organizations need cloud resources who have a solid understanding of cloud systems and understand cloud application complexity, so apps can be deployed securely, efficiently, and with little or no downtime.
  • Machine Learning and AI: Organizations looking to move to the cloud also need to invest in resources with knowledge of machine learning and AI-related technologies. These resources can help organizations drive better data aggregation, integration and analysis, as well as more scalable cloud platforms.

Navigating the Cloud

High levels of cost and competition for specialized cloud skills combined with the need for new emerging skills have created an expensive and potentially detrimental skills gap. For those who cannot find and retain qualified personnel, partnering with a cloud management service provider is a promising solution to overcoming the cloud skills gap. A cloud provider with a deeper bench of talent and resources at a more affordable price can seamlessly manage complex cloud environments and ensure in-house IT teams spend less time “keeping the lights on” and more time managing critical IT functions.

Partnering with an award-winning managed cloud services provider is a great way to equip your organization to overcome gaps hindering your cloud efforts. Contact experts at Synoptek to help you through strategic cloud planning, implementation, and on-going support.