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Bridging the Skills Gap from Data Center to Cloud

Kevin Lees, Field Chief Technologist for IT Operations Transformation

How the Skills Gap Emerged

IT has been implementing private clouds and supporting the use of public clouds for several years now. But the pace of cloud adoption and usage has dramatically increased as companies across industries become digital businesses. As that pace quickens, IT must consider new ways to address concerns about data security and scalability, as well as find new ways to free up time and reduce costs.

This rapidly evolving landscape has exposed a serious vulnerability: a growing skills gap in IT. Companies are quickly realizing that their teams aren’t competitive with their knowledge of evolving technologies. A recent survey posed the question: “Will your organization experience any IT skills shortages during the next 12 months?”—with 59% reporting skills shortages.

The skills gap and associated workforce shortage is partly due to an underestimation of cloud as the transformative approach to IT that it has become. As such, there has been a tendency to take the underestimated view that current skills are sufficient or just need to be adapted to this new technology. A primary IT driver to minimize risk and change can actually increase risk in this scenario. The skills gap in IT is also due in part to common resource constraints—do more with less—which don’t leave much room for new things like skills development or innovation that can come with that.


Individual Contributors Also Play a Role

Like the IT organization, sometimes skilled individuals are resistant to change. While maintaining the status quo may work in the short term, in the long term, a different approach is needed. Cloud, and its underlying software-defined infrastructure, is not going away. Embracing a new cloud strategy is a career-enhancing opportunity and this is how it should be positioned. Re-skilling or “upskilling” resources to better adapt to these new cloud technologies will ultimately benefit the organization as a whole.



Bridging the Skills Gap from Data Center to Cloud White Paper

We have written a white paper that draws from our extensive Professional Services experience in this area, and covers the specifics required for addressing the skills gap in more detail. Topics included are the following skills and expertise needed to build a modern infrastructure:

  • Automation
  • Software-defined networking
  • Cloud-related security
  • Optimization of operations for cloud
  • Cloud-related applications
  • Business-focused and marketing soft skills

Please download the Bridging the Skills Gap white paper here.


Kevin’s focus is on customers optimize the way they operate VMware-supported environments and solutions. Kevin serves as an advisor to global customer senior executives for their IT operations transformation initiatives. He also leads the IT Transformation activities in VMware’s Global Field Office of the CTO.


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