Will moving into a cloud environment—or even adopting a piece or two of cloud-based software—change your IT team? Of course it will. Managing cloud-based systems is inherently different from legacy and on-premise systems, so at the very least, your internal resources will need to pick up a few new skill sets. It’s all in the spirit of transformation and progress, though, just when you want your employees to embrace new opportunities, right?
Let’s take a look at what these cloud-driven changes might look like for your organization.
Your Evolving IT Team
One of the advantages of using cloud-based software is the pressure it takes off your internal resources: the pressure to maintain servers and other hardware, troubleshoot user questions, update software, and more. This means members of your IT team have more time to focus on other workplace technology issues—or even work on more strategic projects, such as preparing for the next stage of digital transformation or cloud software deployment.
What this doesn’t mean is that your IT employees are “all dressed up with nowhere to go.” There’s usually still plenty of work to be done, calling on them to stay on track and step in where new roles and responsibilities are created. Enterprise Connect’s NoJitter puts it this way: “It is nearly impossible to move everything to the cloud…your IT operations may be modified, but they will not be eliminated.”
To the Cloud: Slow and Steady
Many organizations start their journey to the cloud by adopting one piece of public cloud software. Over time, their cloud environments tend to become more complex as new business needs arise and new software is integrated into the mix. If this is the trajectory for your company, it’s likely you’ll see your IT department expand (through new hires or internal development) to accommodate changes and manage the growing number of processes and workloads residing on-premise, in the cloud, or in a combination of both—with a growing emphasis on cloud technologies.
So let’s look ahead to a few years from now: you’ve implanted more cloud-based software and most of your data and processes are in the public cloud. Potentially, all of your data and processes are in the cloud. Your IT team will look more and more sophisticated and boast cloud environment expertise, even if some of your system still lives in-house. This IT team of the near-future is going to less and less in common with your IT team of today (even if it’s staffed up with the same people).
To the Cloud: Fast-Forward
In contrast, cloud native or cloud-first organizations likely don’t employ a hefty staff of traditional IT techs in the first place. These include system admins, database administrators, and help desk support people. If your company is in this category, the professionals on your team have cloud-specific skill sets to support your cloud-centric strategy. This reflects your departure (or lack of adoption in the first place!) from legacy and otherwise on-premise systems, and suggests you’re going to continue to hire talent with next-level experience in cloud environments.
One of the key advantages of going “all cloud,” according to an article in Forbes, is change-the-business agility: a company can focus almost exclusively on applications—not infrastructure, data centers, and disaster recovery issues. It makes sense: a cloud-first organization is going to build a cloud-first IT team. They won’t need but a few, if any, people to maintain servers and software. In fact, these individuals can finally step out of the server room and into planning meetings!
Preparing for the IT Organization of Tomorrow
Even companies who aren’t cloud-exclusive are responding to the unique staffing and leadership needs of a cloud environment. This might help explain RightScale’s Cloud Computing Trends: 2018 State of the Cloud Survey revelation that 57% of enterprises already have a central cloud team with another 24% planning one.
IT staffing solution provider, Collabera, points out that thanks to the cloud, the following IT jobs are in ever-rising demand:
- Project managers with IT experience
- Business analysts
- Business and cloud computing providers
- Software developers
What’s more, IT professionals with security experience (e.g. security architects and security engineers) will also be in-demand, owing to their ability to help their organizations manage security concerns arising from both cloud computing and increased mobility.
Regardless of where your organization sits on the continuum of cloud adoption—somewhere between starting small and “all in”—your IT people have the opportunity to update their skills and yield to digital transformation and your ever-expanding cloud environment.
Contact us for more insights into what it takes to prepare your IT team for change so you can forge ahead with a cloud strategy that meets everyone’s expectations.