Cloud-based transformation offers the potential to reach new markets, to better cater to new customer behaviours and client needs, and to launch services that will be effective well into the future. However, there are several factors to consider when planning your company’s digital transformation journey.
What are the outcomes I’m trying to achieve with the cloud?
Setting clear and measurable objectives is the first step in evaluating the needs of your cloud transformation. The scope, deadlines and expected outcomes of the project need to be clearly outlined from the start.
What skills do I need to facilitate deployment and ensure good maintenance?
Once you have clear goals in mind you can properly outline what technical skills, knowledge and experience will be needed on your team to make your transformation to the cloud a reality. Depending on your project, team members will need to have expertise within specific aspects as well as across multiple disciplines.
Firstly, you will need in-house proficiency within your chosen cloud service provider, whether Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform. This includes the modules specific to each provider, such as serverless computing using AWS-specific Elastic Compute Cloud and Lambda, to object storage services. Your team will also need to have a nuanced understanding of issues surrounding data and information security and compliance issues – particularly if selecting a hybrid cloud model, where information previously stored on local servers may need to remain private and secure, away from the public cloud.
Going forward, skills such as database maintenance, network management and use of integrated environments; automation; and being able to adapt to and manage change, will all be critical in ensuring the ongoing success of the organisation's cloud transformation. Where migrating from on-premises software, an understanding of operating systems will also be very useful; and in the instance where a new cloud implementation meets your existing legacy software, some software engineering may be required for application moderation.
Do I have the in-house resources to achieve deployment and effective maintenance?
Survey your existing team's hard and soft skills, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and identify any gaps in knowledge and expertise. There are several tools available to assist a skills-gap analysis, including:
- Skills Assessment Testing: There are many data driven, standardised testing methods available that measure both soft and technical skills as opposed to knowledge, personality, or general ability
- Employee Reviews & Interviews: By gathering feedback from employees, management, and colleagues you can establish ability and skill levels, and how they can best contribute to a digital transformation. Performance reviews at both individual and team levels can also offer insight
- Key Performance Indicators: Examining your existing employees’ KPIs can show you how each one is currently contributing to the organisation and identify how they can be utilised going forward with your cloud transformation.
If your team is lacking in certain skills or expertise, you’ll be faced with the choice of hiring new members of staff to plug the skills gap and/or training existing staff. You’ll also want to be sure that your interview process is robust and able to identify candidates’ skills accurately.
Would I benefit from contractor support?
Both training existing staff and acquiring new permanent employees can be costly and time-consuming. Whilst you may consider these options in the long term, contractor support can be a quick and cost-effective way to kick start your project and help you reach short-term cloud computing goals.
By seeking niche skills from contractor engagements, you can allow your existing employees to concentrate on core tasks and give them time to upskill without a large financial outlay. Contracting staff are available at short notice and provide a fast turnaround. However, be aware of any tax implications, compensation rights and local employment laws surrounding contractors before taking the plunge.
How do I find the right talent for my budget and timeframes?
Recruiting the best talent for cloud transformations is often more about leveraging the right recruitment strategy and hiring flexibly and efficiently than it is about having a large budget. Once you’ve answered all these questions you can determine your precise requirements from a recruitment strategy!
Bonus: Five technical skills your organisation should address for a successful journey to the Cloud:
1 - Cloud Migration
Migration to the cloud comes with its own risks and difficulties. Poorly managed migrations can cause significant downtime and lead to critical security risks. Those managing the migration project should possess an expert knowledge of the chosen cloud platform, and any potential pitfalls along the way.
2 - Database Management
Knowing how to store, access and manage large amounts of data with a NoSQL database program like Azure Cosmos DB, Amazon DynamoDB, or MongoDB, depending on your chosen Cloud platform. A working knowledge of traditional database querying languages such as Hadoop or MySQL may also be useful for on-premises infrastructure.
3 - Security & Compliance
Protection of data falls to the organisation rather than the cloud provider. Teams should be well versed in cybersecurity and compliance best practice, preventative measures, and available security tools. This should include certification in ISO/IEC 27001, the international standard for information security management systems, before applying this expertise within Microsoft Azure Security Center, Google Cloud Security Command Center, or AWS Security Hub.
4 - Programming Skills
5 - Network Integration
Cloud native environments do not use localised, on-premises data storage, so this skill-set is not necessary for most Cloud transformation projects. However, if your organisation is looking to retain an existing on-site data centre, the fundamentals of network integration will be hugely beneficial to ensure success - as well as an appreciation of user experience.
For expert guidance on Cloud and DevOps hiring strategies, contact Energize Group today.