Adopting new cloud environments can be a time-consuming and complex process – but one that is now critical. 93.7% of organisations agree, with 44% strongly agreeing, that cloud is critical to meeting their immediate business requirements and objectives. Regarded as a “critical enabler” of business agility and an “accelerator of business objectives”, cloud solutions are enabling organisations to make informed, real-time decisions with their data.
For successful cloud adoption though, the entire process needs to be executed strategically by a skilled IT team that can manage and maintain costs, service delivery and security. As your organisation develops further with digital transformation, adopting new, and even hybrid cloud environments will be a key part of that transformation strategy. So what skills should your organisation be investing in?
Any size of organisation will need a specialist and diverse IT team to implement cloud solutions, so with this in mind here are 4 key roles that your organisation should have in place for successful cloud adoption.
Four essential organisational roles for cloud adoption
IT Manager/Head of Infrastructure
Responsibilities: Management of all IT infrastructure, operations, support and maintenance. Management and development of the infrastructure team. Developing strategies for implementing value-adding technologies and services.
Skillset: Strategy and people management. Problem-solving and communication skills. Excellent understanding of technical concepts and modern standards and practices. Excellent knowledge and understanding of infrastructure, security and network technology.
The IT Manager or Head of Infrastructure within your organisation will be driving cloud transformation from the top down, implementing cloud solutions in a strategic way to derive maximum value for the organisation. This is a diverse role, requiring management of projects, technology and people. In addition to the extensive technical skills and knowledge required for this role, your IT Manager should also be confident in communicating with other heads of department within the organisation, as well as external stakeholders.
IT Project Manager
Responsibilities: Management, planning and implementation of technical projects. Coordination of product releases and roll-outs. Team management and appropriate delegation of tasks. Reporting and presenting project results and progress.
Skillset: Planning, organisation, communication. Team management, budget management, time management. Strategic and analytical skills. Excellent understanding and knowledge of IT architecture, policies and standards.
This role within the organisation ensures cloud projects are delivered on time and within budget. As such your IT Project Manager might also liaise with and manage third-party service providers and identify funding opportunities. For example, grants are available to AWS customers, often through a cloud provider, and your IT Project Manager will be able to work with the provider to understand the funding requirements in order to make the most of project grants. Strategic and effective delegation, organisation and communication will also be essential within this role to meet product delivery targets.
Responsibilities: Design and build of software and services. Assess readiness of technical projects. Communicate with third-party providers and stakeholders. Develop appropriate technical solutions in line with IT strategies.
Skillset: Extensive technical skills and knowledge, including data management and cloud providers such as AWS. Analytical, management and communication skills. Knowledge of IT infrastructures, governance and security.
The Solutions Architect will be more hands-on with cloud projects in terms of assessment and implementation. A critical responsibility of the Solutions Architect in the context of cloud adoption will be to conduct a Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA), which will look at your current landscape of applications and assess the cloud readiness of those applications. Your Solutions Architect should also take responsibility for developing an effective Cloud Landing Zone (CLZ) – this will provide appropriate guardrails for your networks, security, access, billing and compliance.
This role will also drive cloud migration through development of your organisation’s cloud migration factory to execute and support workload migrations. This will involve building a migration portfolio of your applications to capture all servers, apps, upstream and downstream dependencies.
Engineer (DevOps or Cloud)
Responsibilities: Deploying and managing multiple cloud environments. Executing cloud migrations. Configuration and automation management. Risk management and mitigation. Security and compliance management within cloud environments.
Skillset: Database and programming. Container orchestration. Initiative and problem-solving. Extensive cloud provider knowledge and understanding of relevant technology. Storage, networking and virtualisation skills.
To execute cloud migration successfully within your organisation, a dedicated Cloud Engineer is a non-negotiable for your in-house IT team. Your Cloud Engineer will be responsible for the migration of your workloads as part of any cloud project as well as management and monitoring the likes of security and uptimes. This role also works closely with the Solutions Architect in designing and developing your cloud systems. As such, this role still requires proficiency in communication and collaboration, in addition to analytical and technological prowess.
When should you outsource?
If your organisation’s IT team is equipped with these skills, cloud adoption and execution is certainly achievable – however, a lot of dramatic and variable change can occur throughout a cloud project, and particularly during migration. To make sure you’re setting yourself up for success, you might also want to look to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), like Brightsolid. MSPs can work with your organisation to ensure your journey to the cloud, from strategy, to design and build, and all the way through to management is really driving transformation and delivering value.
So, when should you look at outsourcing cloud skills?
While your organisation’s IT team may have an excellent collective skillset to deliver on cloud projects, you also need to consider if they have the capacity to execute them on time and on budget. For example, you might be looking at migrating hundreds of applications and if your team already has a handful of projects on the go, it’s likely they’ll require an additional team of FTEs working in parallel to existing business operations.
Delivery of projects can often be dictated by external events or deadlines. Say you have an exit event approaching for your current data centre and you need to have a cloud solution in place to handle the transition – this is a significant process that will take considerable preparation and planning. If you’re migrating one VM, you might be able to execute a lift and shift fairly efficiently, but for anything more you will need time to guarantee the capture of all your applications and their configuration, user base, audience etc.
Outsourcing expertise may also enable you to simply level-up your cloud strategies, and take advantage of the benefits that MSPs can provide. Managed Service Providers will often have partnerships and accreditations with some of the top cloud providers and therefore will have access to complete frameworks (e.g., AWS CAF / AWS Well-Architected), funding, and next-generation tooling as it’s released. In addition, with a massive spectrum of skills to hand, outsourcing expertise can ensure your applications are assessed and rearchitected so they are cost-effective, secured, highly available and redundant.
Brightsolid: your local cloud experts
At Brightsolid, we have decades of experience in engineering successful cloud migrations to Scotland’s public and private sectors. You can read our success stories here: https://www.brightsolid.com/case-studies/
If your organisation is looking to support or enhance its current IT skills, get in touch with our experienced cloud experts to discover what services and support we can provide.