5 ways to help your organization snare the multicloud skills it requires

How to lean on your people so that your multicloud strategy can scale when opportunities arise.

By Jyeh Gan, senior director of IT, Dell Technologies

Jyeh Gan, senior director of IT infrastructure, Dell Technologies

Without the right skills, you could struggle to reap the rewards of multicloud. Dell research suggests that, even when they have the technology in place, more than half (53%) of digital leaders worry their organization might be left behind because it doesn’t have people with the right authority and vision. As senior director of IT at Dell Technologies, it’s one of my roles to ensure we have the people to help our business create a competitive advantage through multicloud.

A multicloud strategy means your company can scale up its IT environment with speed and surety when new opportunities arise. Dell Technologies’ Innovation Index reports almost half of organizations (43%) use a mix of public and private cloud providers as a platform for agility and innovation.

However, the decision to go multicloud is just a starting point. Making the most of multicloud is a complex task that requires specialist expertise. In a competitive labor market, it can be tough to snare the knowledgeable talent your business needs.

Multicloud: More popular than ever

From the Dell Innovation Index, 2023

Companies with a multicloud strategy use multiple providers for on-demand computing and storage services. As many as 83% of businesses have a multicloud strategy—and it’s popular for several reasons.

First, a multi-vendor strategy promotes competition. As an IT leader, you’re expected to deliver an IT environment for the best price. Multicloud makes it much easier to select the best-value services from a range of trusted partners.

Resiliency is another consideration: if one cloud environment goes down, you’ll have at least one back-up option. Multicloud also helps with data governance requirements. Your business might have to use individual cloud providers across separate regions to ensure it complies with data laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.

Finally, multicloud gives your business access to proof of concepts. Dell’s Innovation Index reports that 78% of people join their company because they believe they’ll be empowered to innovate. Your cloud partners will be exploring emerging technologies— and that means your staff will still see the benefits of innovation, even when the high costs prevent your business from funding its own proof of concepts.

The battle for cloud talent

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

he case for multicloud is strong. But to fully realize its strategic benefits, you’ll need people who can make the most of cloud services—and that’s not always straightforward.

One issue is resourcing. Rather than focusing on hardware, many IT professionals are concentrating on software development. If you need staff that really understand the technical details of cloud, then they might be tough to find.

Even if you do find people, will they be able to understand the broad technical variabilities of different cloud providers? From network and CPU technologies to hypervisors and containers, cloud involves an increasingly complex range of providers.

What’s more, you’ll encounter further challenges as you move up the stack. While multicloud means you avoid over-relying on one vendor, you’ll also need an in-depth understanding of all the different services your suppliers provide.

Five ways to get the people you need

What’s clear is that you’ll need great people to make the most of multicloud. I believe there are five key steps C-suite leaders can take to get the talent they need.

  1. Prioritize training and development.

Getting your people ready for a new IT environment is a challenge. The key to success is ensuring staff members are clear on what they need to achieve and how they can do it. We have training programs in place at Dell for specific job types and families, including cloud. We also have metrics that let our people know what skills they’ll need if they want to work in a new environment and the courses they’ll need to take.

  1. Upskill your non-IT staff.

There could be IT talent hidden in other areas of your organization, so entice people to learn about cloud and digital. If your people work with software engineers, encourage them to take a beginners’ class on development. Some of our finance managers have taken Python classes. This process helps business users learn more about the work of their IT colleagues. It can spur their interest in digital and even open new career paths.

  1. Find fresh ways to source talent.

Reduce the time it takes to find great people by partnering with IT recruitment companies and other third parties. We offer professional internships, where we take skilled people from outside to work on one of our internal programs. These internships often lead to full-time contracts. Also, develop programs to source skilled people outside the workforce, such as caregivers returning to the workplace after a career break.

  1. Secure next-generation capability.

Build your digital brand by working with academic institutions. Our IT organization gives students the chance to work with us on projects as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We also offer four-year internship programs, where students do their coursework on a Dell project and work as part of our team. They learn in a real-world environment, and they often join us permanently once they graduate.

  1. Build a trusted ecosystem of partners.

The IT industry is a hotbed of competition, but it’s also a breeding ground for talent. We spend a lot of time working with a big ecosystem of partners, all the way from processor vendors to cloud specialists. We even sit on industry and standards bodies with firms that might be thought of as our competitors. When people meet, they’ll hear of new opportunities, including working for your business.

As an IT leader, you know that digital transformation can involve unexpected challenges. If you have any sort of legacy environment, it takes time to shift to the cloud. Finding ways to source relevant talent quickly and effectively means your organization can embrace a move to multicloud and develop a competitive advantage.

Lead photo courtesy of iStock