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Today’s global business landscape remains more competitive than ever, and the need to deliver a superior customer experience remains a priority for organizations across all industries. To survive, many organizations are adopting cloud architectures and technologies to ensure applications meet the demands of modern consumers.
However, organizations often struggle to make a dent in their digital transformation efforts because they lack the technical capabilities to implement and manage emerging cloud-based technologies. And sadly, the cloud skills shortage is a critical issue with no near-term solution, despite the immediate need for businesses to migrate to the cloud. According to a recent survey by Gartner, IT leaders see talent shortages as the top barrier to adopting 64% of emerging technologies that enable innovation.
Indeed, there is pressure to close the skills gap –– with academic institutions and large corporations training people on the technical skills needed to take full advantage of the cloud and reap the benefits. For example, Google Cloud has committed to training more than 40 million people in modern cloud technologies. However, these training initiatives are long-term solutions that are not helping organizations today. For companies looking to continue their cloud journey in the face of a dearth of cloud expertise and increasingly complex and distributed cloud architectures, there are strategic steps they can take to bridge the growing gap.
Cloud-related business opportunities and the impact of lagging cloud adoption
The cloud enables organizations to future-proof their applications, maximize return on investment, and cultivate brand loyalty by ensuring low latency and service availability. Hybrid, multicloud, and edge environments enable enterprises to move data and compute closer to where it is used, enabling faster, smarter, and more resilient applications. And customers expect their applications to be more secure, available, and performing better wherever they are — that’s why the cloud and edge are so attractive to businesses and why cloud deployments are a top priority for IT managers (Gartner).
Cloud-based technologies that enable predictive analytics are critical as customer experience expectations rise and data proliferates at its current rate (by 2029, more than 15 billion IoT devices will connect to corporate databases). And because data and analytics are critical differentiators, Gartner predicts that 75% of all databases will be deployed or migrated to the cloud by the end of 2022. All of these activities require technical know-how to perform. implemented and maintained.
Given the skills shortage, many companies’ digital transformation projects are being slowed –– often coming to a complete halt. In fact, over the past year, hiring managers have had vacancies for over 300,000 US-based devops. And organizations are struggling to recruit qualified professionals to fill these positions. Those who fail to adapt to the needs of our cloud-based world will miss opportunities to deliver innovative and dynamic new online experiences to customers, resulting in missed ROI and new sources of revenue. income.
Devops are at the forefront of innovation, but are they equipped to tackle the skills shortage?
We surveyed digital architects and found that the pressure they face has more than doubled since the pandemic. Nearly half are currently under high or extremely high pressure to carry out modernization projects.
Enterprise technology stacks are becoming so complex and constantly evolving as new technologies intended to accelerate and simplify application development are introduced (eg, microservices). Already dispersed, DevOps must adapt to the cloud-based needs of today’s enterprises.
Until organizations are able to recruit sufficiently skilled professionals, devops will need to learn how to manage, deploy, and ensure interoperability between edge, container, AI, security, and other technologies. It is also important to note that they will need to understand when and how to refactor applications and manage multi-cloud technologies along with knowing how to implement and manage applications deployed in the cloud versus on-premises applications (skills differ wildly).
How Businesses Can Succeed in Closing the Cloud Skills Gap
Businesses can drive their digital transformation journeys despite cloud talent shortages by considering technical solutions that simplify migration to the cloud and build on existing skills, investing in employee training opportunities ( without adding more work to their plates) and fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration. .
First, new solutions must be simple and flexible enough to be adopted seamlessly. For example, look for next-generation cloud technologies (eg, databases) that allow developers to use the languages, frameworks, and technologies they already know how to use. This is important, given that many developers have skills rooted in legacy technologies and on-premises environments. A great way to ease their transition to the cloud is to invest in tools that require minimal skills. Technologies that enable devops to leverage languages that are already part of the skill set of today’s developers, such as SQL, can make cloud adoption less daunting.
Next, organizations need to train their employees in the skills needed to implement and maintain cloud migration, without adding additional stress/work to developers. A study by the Linux Foundation found that more than half of organizations prioritized investing in employee training and networking opportunities, but with 66% of developers wanting more corporate-sponsored training opportunities. employer to help them succeed, it would be wise for more companies to invest further in training.
Finally, organizations should foster a culture of learning, collaboration, and transparency to ensure employees feel comfortable sharing what works and what could be improved. For example, managers could promote this by having regular one-on-one meetings with team members to ensure their needs are being met, get feedback on current processes, and better understand their workloads to avoid burnout. professional.
Although these suggestions do not yield immediate results, they can be implemented quickly in the short term.
Moving forward despite the cloud talent shortage
For many organizations, digital transformation is an existential imperative, and they need to keep moving forward in their cloud journeys despite the lack of cloud skills talent. And while macroeconomic efforts are being made to close the skills gap, these efforts are often not helpful to businesses in the short term. However, organizations can still be successful if they focus on adopting the right technologies, encourage continuous learning, and promote a culture that celebrates collaboration, honesty, and transparency.
Rahul Pradhan is Vice President of Cloud Products, Engineering and Operations at Couchbase.
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