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Closing the IT Skills Gap with Cloud Managed Services!

Cloud computing underpins nearly every major business technology initiative today, from DevOps and team collaboration to supply chain management and edge computing. However, a widening IT skills gap is making it difficult for companies to extend their cloud capabilities.

More than 80 percent of IT leaders say a lack of internal skills and knowledge has become a barrier to cloud success, according to a report from A Cloud Guru. More than 90 percent of those surveyed expect to expand their usage of cloud services over the next three years, but nearly half report they don’t have the expertise that will require.

The shortage is further illustrated by job search data from the Indeed employment website. The firm says cloud-related job postings have increased 42 percent over the past three years, with cloud engineer, cloud architect and cloud consultant the most in-demand cloud positions.

The skills gap became more pronounced in the past year as organizations dramatically increased their use of the cloud to support work-from-home operations. In many instances, runaway adoption of services and applications introduced new complexities and challenges. 

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Cloud governance is one such challenge. Gartner analysts say fewer than 30 percent of organizations have a documented cloud computing strategy, which opens the door for remote users to adopt apps and services on an as-needed basis without IT’s consent. As a result, many organizations wind up running many more cloud instances than they need, leading to wasted resources and unexpected costs.

Worse yet, this ad-hoc approach to the cloud opens up more threat vectors and increases security risks. One recent study suggests that as many as three-quarters of all companies using public cloud services have some form of cloud misconfiguration that opens them up to a potential cyberattack.

Common vulnerabilities include weak or default passwords, inadequate access restrictions, and mismanaged permission controls — often the result of human error and a failure to understand the risk. Users may also introduce vulnerabilities by personalizing their cloud applications with changes that aren’t approved or documented. Over time, this can result in “configuration drift” — an inconsistent cloud environment that creates management, availability and security problems.

Such challenges, and the lack of in-house expertise to deal with them, are leading more organizations to partner with managed service providers (MSPs) to address their cloud management needs. MSPs provide on-demand access to the cloud skills and knowledge that are difficult to find in the open market.

The MSP Approach

Upfront planning is the key to effective cloud management. With a deep understanding of the tools and techniques for optimizing cloud usage, an MSP can help create a coherent strategy for managing and optimizing cloud usage.

For example, Rahi’s dedicated team of cloud specialists begins with a thorough readiness assessment to ensure your network environment and cloud connections can handle the workload. We can also conduct application assessments to identify apps that can be migrated fairly easily, those that may need to be redesigned or replaced, and those that should remain in-house. 

Following this information-gathering phase, our consultants work with you to develop a detailed strategy for implementing new services and migrating existing workloads. After deployment, you can choose to hand off the project to our managed services team for around-the-clock management.

The cloud is only becoming more essential to business operations, but the growing IT skills gap is contributing to management challenges. Contact us to learn more about how our cloud managed services can relieve your staff of the management burden and help you optimize your cloud resources for maximum business value.

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