Aug 22 2023

How to Surmount Hybrid Cloud's IT Skills Gap and Realize Its Full Potential

As digital business transformation increasingly depends on the hybrid cloud, success demands new specialized skills and roles.

Rapidly evolving business requirements, new technologies that fuel digital transformation and a post-pandemic, highly competitive IT recruiting environment all make workforce planning difficult, if not impossible.

Ensuring the right team members bring the necessary skills to the table to meet not only current but also future and planned business needs is a challenging but critical task for CIOs and other IT leaders today. Those challenges become all the more difficult for small to medium-sized businesses facing the same needs as larger enterprises, with only a fraction of the available budget to recruit, hire and deploy teams and technology.

Hybrid cloud environments offer cost and resource efficiencies, but only when IT team members operate them effectively — and that’s not easy, given the number of distinct platforms on which a hybrid cloud organization’s data resides. Upskilling workers to navigate these challenges is critical to building strong, resilient teams and gaining the most from technology investments.

Here are a few of the current key training and technology areas where IT leaders should look to introduce or enhance team training.

Hybrid Cloud


Cybersecurity Training Is Job One in Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud environments bring frequent security and regulatory compliance requirements; such environments can be disruptive or costly to implement and automate across disparate solutions.

ISACA’s State of Cybersecurity 2022 Report shares several sobering statistics for CISOs and cybersecurity teams as a whole: 1 in 5 survey respondents said it takes more than six months to find qualified cybersecurity candidates for open positions, and 62 percent report that their cybersecurity teams are understaffed.

What skills should leaders look for in candidates, or enhance within existing teams to keep current? Soft skills (54 percent), cloud computing knowledge (52 percent) and security controls experience (34 percent) are among the most important, according to the ISACA survey.

Training and upskilling those cybersecurity or SecOps workers not only improve a business’s security posture and outcomes but also aid in retention. Cybersecurity professionals leave their current positions in large part due to limited promotion and development opportunities (47 percent) and lack of management support (34 percent). Getting teams training opportunities and ensuring management provides time to complete that training or gain the sought-after skills is a win-win for all.

DIVE DEEPER: Discover the basic steps to optimize your organization’s hybrid cloud environment.

The Coding Languages Your Team Should Know In Hybrid Cloud

Modern infrastructure and the latest class of servers available today “can address modern needs: the ability to scale quickly, integrate with hybrid cloud and cloud-based resources, the ability to automate deployment of those machines, remotely manage them and really kind of deal with infrastructure as an elastic resource,” says Brent Ellis, a senior analyst leading Forrester’s technology resilience, backup, storage and mainframe modernization research.

“We’re no longer in this situation where you have a single IT administrator racking and stacking machines. You’re really buying infrastructure as a commodity and deploying it as a scaffolding for all the applications your business is building,” Ellis adds. “The typical IT administrator’s job has a lot more development than it did in the past. Those people actually have to learn how to code.”

Among the languages that are essential for hybrid cloud success are Terraform, which enables automation capabilities and scaling services to multiple cloud platforms; Kubernetes (K8s), which enables container management and orchestration; and CloudFormation (specifically for Amazon Web Services), which allows applications to be deployed regardless of physical location.

Click the banner to learn how your institution can benefit from a hybrid cloud environment.

Scale DevOps with Platform Engineering In Hybrid Cloud

Alongside infrastructure-as-code development training, leveraging this knowledge to create or enhance platform engineering teams is essential to rapid product development and iteration. Gartner predicts that by 2027, 80 percent of large organizations must embrace platform engineering to successfully scale DevOps initiatives in hybrid cloud environments, up from less than 30 percent in 2023. Collaboration with software engineering teams focused on DevOps platforms-as-products is essential, Gartner advises.

“The platform engineering team should be responsible for maximizing the value of the DevOps platform and tackling problems such as governance, knowledge sharing and compliance,” Gartner’s “Leverage Platform Engineering to Scale DevOps Platforms Into Hybrid Cloud” research states. The team “should focus on the product teams, software engineering teams or development team and security team’s needs and biggest pain points.”

Shifting to a platform engineering approach to building out and evolving DevOps toolchains enables streamlined management across a variety of environments, ready identification of needs shared across development teams, and adherence to continuous integration/continuous deployment pipelines.

LEARN MORE: See how small businesses can benefit from the right hybrid cloud approach.

Enterprise Cloud Architects: Expert Champions of Hybrid Cloud

An enterprise cloud architect can lead a company’s cloud adoption efforts or a cloud center of excellence team and, on the whole, serve as a champion of hybrid cloud computing throughout the organization. Most cloud providers offer training to keep current on specific tools or approaches needed to optimize their environments. Pairing offers another helpful way to build up the skills and experience of team members who may not have cloud knowledge but desire to learn and eventually grow into a cloud-focused role.

“Set up a skilled external cloud architect with an employee who does not yet have cloud skills but has solid general architecture skills, with the goal of developing the internal employee into a full-fledged cloud architect,” Gartner advises.

Building a talent enablement program (TEP) within the broader organization can help promote and develop all of the skills necessary to cultivate this and other evolving roles within the business, Gartner advises. Beyond defining the skills an organization needs, the TEP can also improve recruiting and point on-staff team members to the most critical skills they need to improve or attain.

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