Unless you are a “born-in-the-cloud” company, you are probably on your cloud journey or planning to start one. This means you have a traditional environment you will need to support and maintain while on the journey. Aside from the complexities of managing multiple, disparate environments, you will be faced with staffing the management of the legacy environments. What are the staffing challenges you will face, and, more importantly, what are some strategies you can use to mitigate the risk?
Challenges you will likely face three major challenges in your cloud journey. In a previous article, we looked at some of the new skills your team will need in the cloud environment. Mastering those skills, along with new processes, will present a challenge. Even finding resources to support your hybrid environment will be challenging. Finally, keeping the team managing the legacy environment motivated may prove difficult.
You may need to change governance processes since security is also an area that will change in cloud environments. The shared security model used by most cloud platforms may require changes to policies, so it will undoubtedly lead to changes in processes.
Your journey to the cloud will bring new management tools as well. Depending on your cloud strategy and your approach to multi-cloud, you may be introducing multiple management tools, each with its own user interface.
On the other side of the coin, finding engineers who are skilled in managing existing on-premises architecture and applications will become more and more difficult as older IT staff retire and other, younger staff members are attracted to the cloud, and as universities shift their curriculum to cloud-oriented studies.
What Is Your Cloud Strategy?
Do you plan to move everything to the cloud in a short period of time in a big-bang approach? Or do you plan to be in a hybrid environment for some period of time, perhaps even for the foreseeable future? The longer you are in a hybrid environment, the less likely you will be able to use a single team approach. Related to this is the state of your legacy environments. Will there be a change freeze or will you continue to enhance and extend those resources? This may dictate which environment you focus your existing team in.
If you are considering this approach, keep in mind the feelings of the team members “left” to support the legacy environments. You should provide them with a well-defined career path, so they don’t feel “stuck” or left behind. You may consider incentives like a bonus or training opportunities.
In both the hybrid team and the single team approach, you need to pay close attention to who within your teams has the institutional knowledge. Many cloud initiatives have failed because those with the most institutional knowledge were assigned to the legacy team and were not readily available to the cloud team.
Utilizing a partner to maintain your legacy platforms during your cloud journey will enable you to put your most valuable asset — your people — on the project that will bring the most value to your organization: the cloud journey.
Staffing Plan – Regardless of the strategy employed to keep the lights on, you will need a staffing plan. The staffing plan should describe the approach you will use to support the hybrid environments.
Roy Atkinson, CEO of Clifton Butterfield, suggests using the acronym VIRSA:
Don’t forget: a detailed plan for keeping the lights on during the migration can help ensure a successful cloud journey!
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News source: https://www.forbes.com
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