Jake Madders, director at Hyve Managed Hosting, comments on the lack of skilled cloud industry specialists within the industry and how tech departments can help bridge the gap.
Every wave of IT innovation has brought with it changes in strategy, spending and skillsets. The huge global impact made by cloud computing is no different, and IT strategies are shifting dramatically to ride the wave of benefits offered by cloud.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that demand for skilled cloud industry specialists appears to be running well ahead of supply and the industry is in the centre of a growing cloud skills shortage. New research from Microsoft reinforces the point – it reveals that nearly 40% of companies struggle to recruit people with sufficient cloud computing skills.
As a result, organisations that lose valuable IT staff with these specific skills may find it particularly difficult to replace them. With Brexit potentially restricting the mobility of talent and adding to this shortage, how can IT departments bridge the gap created by loss of or inability to hire valuable IT skills?
Despite that fact that employee turnover is a fact of life for every company, when an IT staff member departs, it can leave a tangible void in cloud capabilities. Not only do they exit with critical technical skills, but they take with them a deep understanding of the IT architecture they have helped to develop and maintain and how the business depends upon it.
If this occurs, it’s of vital importance to sustain continuity of service – internally and externally. In particular, maintaining the same service levels as before the person left, to the point that the customer doesn’t even know there has been movement of staff at the company is crucial. If a company does choose to immediately source a replacement, the recruitment process can be time consuming; but the company should be able to reallocate work load in the interim.
Instead of spending time and resources looking to source talent in-house, companies could look to a managed cloud service provider to provide the skills and expertise once an IT team member moves on. Qualified in its ability to deliver various hosting and cloud services, managed cloud hosting providers do not need to be intensely trained on the IT skills required for business operations, as this experience and knowledge is already ingrained.
This reduces time and effort spent onboarding employees in-house – an investment which never actually guarantees that skills will be retained within the company for long periods of time, as employee movement is so unpredictable.
Relying on a third party managed cloud provider means that no matter what the movement of staff in a company, IT operations can remain consistent. Not only this, but working with a third party means that the entity is obligated to provide strong levels of uptime and continuity that they must adhere to, in the form of a service level agreement (SLA). As part of this service, the most reputable and customer-service centric providers will also offer ‘round-the-cloud’ support from technical engineers that know each client inside out.
Outsourcing IT to a specialised third party like a managed cloud service provider means, like IT infrastructure, IT teams have no single point of failure. Reliance on these companies means that digital transformation plans do not have to stop in their tracks to accommodate for firefighting issues in the absence of a technician – the company can continue as normal knowing that another party is skilled in delivery key IT services with 24/7 support should a query or concern arise.
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