- Three-quarters of companies are building new capabilities in cloud and defaulting to cloud-based systems for IT needs, according to a new Pluralsight report.
- Three in 5 said they implement the latest cloud features as soon as they are available, according to the tech workforce development company’s survey of 1,000 tech leaders and technologists.
- Despite widespread enthusiasm for cloud and eagerness to adopt new features, many companies are overlooking a key component of modernization — skills. Only 8% of respondents said they possessed extensive experience with cloud tools and almost two-thirds admitted they were new to cloud and in need of training.
Eliminating antiquated data centers, accessing vast computational power, optimizing ERM tools and onboarding sleek “as a Service” applications — the tactical benefits of cloud are clear.
It’s the strategic potential of modernization, and the ROI, which remain elusive for many companies.
As companies shift to cloud, they risk overlooking an integral component of digital transformation: people.
“Organizations need to be spending as much time migrating talent to the cloud as they are migrating applications,” Drew Firment, VP of enterprise strategies and chief cloud strategist at Pluralsight, said in an interview with CIO Dive.
The focus has been on technology rather than organizational culture. “This is a paradigm shift for individuals and for organizations,” Firment said. “A mindset shift.”
Firment spent nearly 20 years as a technologist at Capital One and served as the financial company’s director of cloud engineering between 2015 and 2017. Capital One migrated eight data centers in as many years, completing the bulk of its transformation to digital in 2020.
“Back at Capital One, it was about democratizing cloud,” Firment said. “It was not only about the data centers, it was about storage admins, security admins, database admins and system admins migrating to the cloud, as well as product managers and Scrum Masters and business folks.”
Firment described a company culture in which “everybody is speaking in cloud” and understands not only how to operate in that language, but also how to ask for things in that language.
Cultivating cloud culture isn’t easy.
Cloud training can be “more complex than the upskilling courses technologies are used to” and take up to six months longer than other types of tech training, the report said.
To overcome the challenges, Firment outlined an incremental approach:
- Establish cloud literacy through cloud provider certifications.
- Develop cloud fluency by providing technologists with hands-on experiential learning.
- Build self-sustaining learning communities within the organization.
Success takes persistence, commitment and resources. Budget constraints were cited by respondents as the top impediment cloud fluency, followed closely by lack of time and the prioritization of recruitment over upskilling.
“If you want to harness the power of cloud computing, you have to start by investing in your people in a programmatic and thoughtful way,” Firment said.
And you have to be willing to play the long game.