The move to Cloud computing for an organisation is a daunting task. I’ve been thinking about the kind of skills and resource that you probably will need in order to make it successful. It represents quite a change for an organisation that has a traditional in-house ICT model, less of a change if the organisation who is in an outsourced model. Here is my starter for six, no doubt there are others.
Mobile Device and Application Specialists
It is highly likely that the consumption of Cloud services will not only be from desktops within an organisation, but also from a myriad of devices from smartphones, to tablets, home computers, netbooks, and laptops. In order to be able to support your users you are going to need to consider buying a technical specialist to assist you. Certainly from an ongoing support perspective, you’re going to need people who understand the technicalities of those devices and the applications that will reside on them.
Application, Infrastructure, and Data Integration Skills
The move to cloud stretches your internal ICT applications and infrastructure into a Cloud model. Without good skills in this area the move to Cloud will be extremely difficult. How will applications reside in a Cloud provider and talk back to systems that you are still managing in-house? How will the data flow between Software as a Service to and from applications that you may retain in-house? How will you interconnect your networks and infrastructure with your Cloud provider?
Security, Risk & Assurance, Legal and other compliance skills
The risk that is most highlighted as a barrier to consuming Cloud Services is security. It is critical that you have skills that allow you to assess the security risks in a meaningful and objective way. This will require some kind of risk and assurance framework. In addition to security, a good understanding of your legal risks and other compliance issues (i.e. Records Management requirements) will also be necessary.
Organisational Change Skills – Programme and Project Management
Any move to a Cloud service requires excellent planning and execution. Depending on the scale of your migration to Cloud you may need a full Programme of work or as little as a technical project manager. Regardless, the management of change is key. You will need a champion, communications, project management, and a strong Governance model that is accountable for the success of the move.
Business and Technical Enterprise Architects
Somewhere in your organisation there will be a business strategy, and hopefully, underpinning that road map will be an ICT Architecture strategy. You will need business and technical architects to validate target Cloud services to make sure that they are not at variance with what your organisation wants to do longer term.
ICT commercial Skills
In much the same way that you need a commercial ICT team for outsourcing, you need a similar set of skills for Cloud services. These are the people who are in charge of the contracts, the monitoring of the performance as a service, remediation of issues, financial management, and the commercial relationship with the Cloud supplier.
Moving to Cloud services is not a matter of simply “turning on” the service and starting to consume it. There is a complex mix of skills needed to ensure that you can be successful and get the services and return on investment you want.