Solving Your Cloud Headaches: IT Skills Wanted
In our last post we drilled down into how to become an informed cloud customer, one area that CIOs need to understand, in order to build that dream cloud for the CEO and the business.
Today we are going to take closer look at a challenge that gets constant coverage in the industry news – Addressing the Skills Gap.
In Cloud: CEO Fairytale or CIO Nightmare, several questions were posed around addressing skills and staffing:
- Do your staff have the skills?
- What’s the cost of upskilling?
- Should you hire in experts or develop in-house skills?
- How do you keep skills in-house and stop them walking out the door?
- How do you build redundancy into your skill set?
- How do you increase the speed at which skills are learned and then able to be applied?
It’s important to address the skills gap, and there are a couple of obvious ways to do this…but neither are without their challenges.
Let’s not beat around the bush, skills gap has a real, monetary effect on businesses and potentially a very big one.
A LinkedIn and Cap Gemini joint report showed that this ever-widening gap is causing businesses to be less productive, less competitive and face higher staff attrition rates as employees harbour fears around redundancy of their own skills and a fear their current employer won’t meet their needs.
Most companies recognise that there is a cloud skills gap – but exactly how that can be fixed is proving a dilemma.
This potentially can be the quickest way to acquire skills into your organisation. The downfall is that it’s a competitive and limited market. Those with the skills can ask for top dollar – knowing they are in demand. And of course, hiring can be hit and miss. What looks good on paper (or in a an interview) doesn’t always play out well in real life.
Of course, the other obvious solution is to skill up your existing staff. This is going to have to happen to a certain degree regardless. Environments moving to the cloud are going from rigid and static to dynamic, and this is a total shift in thinking.
The benefits of creating in-house capability is that to a large extent the staff are a known quantity. It can generate an increased sense of job satisfaction for staff who are improving their skills and expanding their roles and responsibilities. Multi-trained staff also provides a level of redundancy in the case of absenteeism.
The challenge with taking this approach is that it can take years to develop the required skills – not to mention the technology is constantly changing. If you want to fast track training, it can mean your staff are out of the field for extended periods of time. So, you have to balance knowledge acquisition with productivity.
Another challenge is how does knowledge gained translate to practical skills in the field. And how do you leap that chasm without making costly mistakes?
Any training undertaken needs to be relevant. It requires real world experience, it needs to make employees operational in as short a time as possible.
Not only do organisations need to have their expertise in place now, they also need to have a development strategy, in order to be able to evolve and thereby future proof their IT workforce.
Not only do they need to future proof for individuals skill-sets, but also for the organisation as a whole. Is there a way to ensure skills are developed across the team rather than a few key individuals, who will create another gap if they were to walk out the door? How does an organisation ensure that remaining staff can pick up and continue without incurring downtime?
The inability of companies to be able to address this issue, quickly and cost effectively will most certainly impede their future growth and competitiveness in an ever-growing digital economy.
About Qirx in a Box
We have a simple approach to cloud solutions – we build cloud experts.
Qirx in a Box is a game changing product that turns everyday IT people into cloud experts. It’s a one-stop solution that allows us to transfer our expertise to you and your team. This means you are empowered with the knowledge, tools and know-how to accurately determine what your business requires. Then you are perfectly positioned to create a more efficient, secure hybrid cloud and maintain and scale your hybrid cloud environment as your needs grow.
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