What’s the top barrier to cloud maturity?

In thsi article we have featured What’s the top barrier to cloud maturity? Where is your team in its cloud learning journey? Are they just getting started (crawling)? Or are they pretty comfortable (walking)? Are they experts (running)? Do you even know?

Pluralsight’s Drew Firment, who holds a patent for measuring cloud maturity, argues that skill shortages are a critical impediment to obtaining return on technical cloud expenditures. In this conversation, he gives insights on what’s required to overcome this impediment.

How does talent factor into the cloud maturity discussion?

DF: When people inquire where you are on your cloud journey, they generally open with queries such as:

The discourse has been especially muted around talent change. Yes, employers are complaining the tech talent crisis.

But it’s challenging to fill unfilled reqs while competing against more established cloud-fluent enterprises. Job seekers are assessing your learning programs, not simply your remuneration package, when weighing an offer.

You talk about cloud as a language. Say more about that.

Fluency involves the capacity to hold a discourse about the beer. The bartender could ask my preferences, and I would comprehend the inquiry.

We could have a back-and-forth discourse about what’s on tap, and I could let the bartender know my thoughts about the beer after drinking it. If I’m multilingual, I have a lot better chance of receiving beer I’ll actually like.

In a cloud context, you create literacy (not fluency) via cloud certifications. Certifications assist you grasp the vocabulary and principles of cloud computing.

You obtain a broad enough understanding and perspective to avoid being a hazard to your business, but you also become keenly aware of how much you don’t know.

Many enterprises wrongly think that cloud certification means cloud fluency. It doesn’t. Employees need to use the “cloud language” toward your specific business results through hands-on experience to develop fluency.

Back to the language metaphor: I’m not going to become fluent in German by reading a textbook. I need an immersion experience among German speakers to master the intricacies of the language and how to use it in daily life so it becomes second nature.

Do lift-and-shift projects create cloud fluency?

What’s the top barrier to cloud maturity

DF: I typically link folks to a Gartner report that says, “Today’s cloud migration techniques skew more toward ‘lift-and-shift’ than toward modernisation or restructuring.

However, lift-and-shift programs do not develop native cloud skills.” Worse, these projects tend to build technological debt that eventually overshadows initial wins.

This is why it is far more vital to raise and alter the mindsets of individuals and organizations from legacy techniques and instead focus on the strategic value of cloud computing. If you want to get to market faster or develop more effectively, what cloud strategy do you need?

And what talents are required for implementing that strategy? That’s a different conversation than “how many applications do you want to migrate?”

And it often involves a deeper knowledge foundation than a certification curriculum. Perhaps you’re migrating to AWS, but what complementary skills will your teams need to achieve the cloud transformation? You can also check our in dept PluralSight Review 

As firms attain cloud maturity, how does the talent conversation evolve?

DF: When commencing the cloud journey, enterprises generally build up a cloud center of excellence. This group serves as the specialists as you’re creating the criteria for functioning in the cloud.

Once you’ve developed these early guard rails—and you’ve started to embrace cloud at scale—the center of excellence needs to convert into a cloud center of enablement. Instead of having expertise centralized among a small number of individuals, you want to drive the relevant skills and information into the hands of federated teams.

A center of enablement curates and distributes best practices while housing “shared services” (for example, on-call specialists to aid with specialty issues or when teams get stuck) (for example, on-call experts to help with specialty questions or when teams get stuck). The center also monitors and troubleshoots impediments to workflow.

How do mature cloud firms decide their talent investments?

top barrier to cloud maturity

DF: Organizations who are just starting started on their cloud journey frequently look at talent development as a “necessary expense,” not as a strategic investment. In contrast, cloud-mature organizations ask questions such as these:

If I could expedite my cloud transformation by three months, what’s the financial advantage to my business?

If I could tighten cloud security, how much faster could we provide innovation to clients without incurring more risk for our enterprise?

If I shift this workload to the cloud, how will our customers benefit and what does the better customer experience mean for our bottom line?

They evaluate talent selections through the prism of business potential and lost opportunity cost. If upskilling your teams could get you to market sooner with a new product, and getting to market faster could add one million dollars of quarterly profit, what would you invest to make sure your staff can accomplish this result? When viewed through lenses like these, cloud skill development becomes a high-ROI activity.

You advocate for developing a “cloud culture.” What does that mean?

DF: A cloud culture means “cloud is spoken here.” By everyone.

Back to the language metaphor: “Cloud culture” is Oktoberfest in the corporate cafeteria. Everyone is sipping beer, chatting about it eagerly in German and celebrating. It’s comfortable—a community with a mutual lexicon and understanding. People love the companionship and enthusiasm that come from being part of a collective.

How do you build this Oktoberfest?

DF: Earlier, I talked about cloud certifications as roads to cloud literacy. They also serve a vital function in developing cloud culture. You want to develop a critical mass of cloud literacy in your organization, because literacy helps alleviate fear, confusion and doubt about cloud transitions. It gets individuals onboard and personally committed to your organization’s cloud success.

Investing in certifications at scale is a terrific approach to develop momentum to break through any existing inertia that may be holding you back from cloud success.

Cloud certifications also provide your staff a “what’s in it for me” as there is inherent value associated with the achievement. Consider developing and sponsoring cohorts where individuals work together toward attaining a certification.

There are various methods to build a group learning experience that establishes accountability partnerships and positive peer pressure.

You can have hundreds of individuals going through the journey concurrently, which helps seed and foster learning communities that become both scalable and sustainable—and ultimately generate the cloud culture and skills to deliver on strategic business results.

Fostering a cloud culture entails building fluency in different teams so that many individuals take ownership of cloud outcomes instead of having ownership focused in a center of excellence. The faster you establish fluency across the organization, the sooner you achieve a real cloud culture.

Conclusion: What’s the top barrier to cloud maturity?

In a similar fashion, organizations must attain a critical mass of cloud fluency at scale in order to create enough momentum to transcend the gulf between the early adopters and the majority.

Critical mass is what enables you to break past the historical inertia of legacy mindsets. You need cloud fluency at scale to achieve the return on your cloud investments.

If you invest as much effort in migrating talent to the cloud as you are putting in transferring apps to the cloud, you maximize your overall cloud ROI.

About aishwar

I am the Founder of GizmoBase and also cofounder at Affiliatebay.net, a digital marketing agency that specializes in content and data-driven SEO. With over 7 years of experience in digital marketing and affiliate marketing, I have developed a deep understanding of various domains, including ecommerce, startups, social media marketing, make money online, affiliate marketing, and human capital management. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and expertise in these areas to help businesses thrive.

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