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Closing the Cloud Skills Gap in Your Business: A Roadmap to Success

Last updated: 18 Dec 2023

With the influx of businesses migrating to the cloud and the abrupt changes in their IT strategies, the cloud skills gap is a growing challenge for many organizations. In a recent survey by CompTIA, 57% of businesses say they have a cloud skills gap. Several factors, including the rapid pace of cloud innovation and lack of qualified cloud professionals, are just some reasons businesses have difficulty with their cloud strategy.

With the demand for cloud-savvy professionals growing, how can businesses, often constrained by budget and resources, bridge this gap, and stay competitive in the cloud-driven era?

Understanding the Cloud Skills Gap

As we delve into understanding the cloud skills gap, we must first define what we mean by “cloud skills.” Cloud skills encompass a range of competencies required to harness cloud technologies effectively. Critical cloud skills include:

  • Understanding cloud computing fundamentals  
  • Proficiency in cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud  
  • Ability to design, deploy, and manage cloud-based solutions 
  • Troubleshooting common cloud problems 

The challenge lies in the evolving nature of cloud technologies. Businesses must actively adapt and upskill their workforce to stay current with services and features emerging to stay ahead of rapid changes.

Identifying the Gap

Identifying the gap requires recognizing the skill deficiencies within your organization. Closely monitor your daily operations to spot areas with skills gaps. It could be struggling to secure cloud data or failing to optimize cloud resources—these operational hiccups can indicate where your team needs upskilling. 

Lack of expertise in cloud architecture can lead to operational inefficiencies, such as delays in deploying new cloud applications and services. Another skills gap is minimal knowledge of cloud security strategies that can lead to data security risks, such as misconfigured cloud resources and vulnerable cloud applications. This challenge not only impacts your overall cloud strategy but also affects your operations and bottom line.

Assessing Your Organization

Assessing your organization’s cloud skills requires a systematic evaluation of your team’s performance and knowledge base. Evaluate the current state of your workforce’s cloud knowledge by utilizing self-assessment tools. The skills assessment is crucial as it serves as your starting point, identifying the cloud skills your employees have and the skills they need to develop. In addition, you should consider these factors when assessing your organization’s cloud skills needs:

  1. Consider business goals: Your cloud strategy should align with your business goals. Determining what you want to achieve when adopting a cloud strategy and understanding your business goals will help you choose specific cloud technologies and services that are most relevant to your business. This, in return, will help you save costs, as not all cloud technologies are applicable to every business. 
  2. Assess your current IT infrastructure: Analyzing your existing IT infrastructure will provide insights into the technologies and services already used in the cloud. This assessment helps you identify what needs to be integrated or upgraded and how it aligns with your goals. It also reveals any redundancies or inefficiencies in your current cloud setup. 
  3. Evaluate budget constraints: Your budget plays a significant role in determining how you can address cloud skill gaps. Assess how much financial resources are available for cloud skills training and development or if it will be better to outsource your cloud management to an MSP. 

Strategies for Closing the Cloud Skills Gap

Investing in Employee Training 

Investing in the training and developing existing employees is a proactive approach to bridging the cloud skills gap. This strategy will provide learning opportunities and resources to upskill your workforce in cloud-related areas. Training existing employees can be much more cost-effective than hiring a new one, as they already have in-depth knowledge about your organization’s processes. It can also foster employee loyalty as it can boost employee morale. Offer various training options such as workshops, online courses, or certifications. But it shouldn’t stop there—regularly assess your employees’ progress and update their training programs according to your evolving needs. 

Recruiting and Onboarding 

Recruiting new talent with cloud expertise and onboarding them effectively is another way to address the skills gap. New hires can bring immediate expertise in cloud technologies and practices, reducing the time required when upskilling your existing workforce.  

When hiring new talent, organizations should set clear job descriptions, conduct rigorous interviews, and provide a robust onboarding process to ensure new hires integrate smoothly into the team and understand the organization’s cloud requirements. 

Outsourcing to Cloud Experts 

Outsourcing specific cloud-related tasks to external cloud experts or managed service providers can be a practical strategy, especially for organizations with immediate cloud needs and resource limitations. These experts handle cloud management, security, or optimization, allowing the in-house team to focus on their core competencies. 

Working with an MSP provides access to specialized cloud skills and can be more cost-effective than maintaining a dedicated in-house cloud team. Most MSPs also provide 24/7 support for critical operations. Before choosing an MSP, review service-level agreements (SLAs) and security protocols to ensure smooth collaboration. 

ROI and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Conducting ROI and cost-benefit analysis will help you allocate resources efficiently by identifying which strategies offer the highest return on investment and greatest benefits. It is best to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to have a comprehensive view of the financial aspects of your cloud roadmap, such as costs associated with training programs, recruitment, and outsourcing.

It will also act as your basis for justifying the expenses of addressing the cloud skills gap to key stakeholders, including executives and shareholders. You can make sustainable decisions by understanding the financial implications of your actions to ensure the ongoing development of cloud skills in your organization.

Future-Proofing Your Business

Staying updated with cloud trends is crucial as the cloud landscape continually evolves. Businesses should keep an eye on emerging technologies and evolving best practices to keep up and fully leverage the power of the cloud. Develop a long-term strategy that adapts to these changes and ensures your organization remains competitive in the long run. 

Businesses can position themselves for success in the digital age by closing the cloud skills gap. Cloud skills can help businesses to:

  • Be more agile and responsive to change.
  • Innovate faster.
  • Reach new markets.
  • Improve bottom line.

BlackPoint IT offers various cloud solutions to help businesses integrate and maximize the cloud into their framework. Our cloud experts can help develop a cloud strategy aligned with your business needs and fully leverage the power of the cloud to help you compete in this digital world. Schedule a personalized consultation with one of our cloud experts to learn more. 

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