Robust Cloud Talent a Built-In Competitive Advantage
One of the most powerful tools a business can have at its disposal is the ability to make quick decisions when presented with new information. As work environments and the jobs that drive the regionâs economy continue to change, the ability to make these decisions faster will become even more imperative to stay competitive.
Managing an effective cloud solution and having the internal talent to maintain and run a cloud system will become table stakes to run the business of the future. Cloud architects, cloud engineers, data and analytics administrators, and security specialists are in great demand, and the potential for remote work in these spaces will make the market an even more competitive one, further enhancing the need for businesses to emphasize this need not later, but today. Every company with IT needs is impacted by cloud. According to the Computing Technology Industry Associationâs (CompTIA) Cyberstates 2021 sector assessment, more than 60 percent of Houstonâs tech workers are employed by non-tech sector companies. New demands for cloud systems and capabilities are driving demand for talent with specialized skills and, in many cases, opportunities for businesses to upskill current employees who already understand the culture and business.
Cloud services, and why businesses need them
At its most basic level, the core benefit of a cloud service is that it enables a company's IT resources to be available on demand, configurable, and shareable using remote servers as compared to traditional on-premises systems. This allows businesses to strategically reimagine how to operate and remain profitable and reallocate resources to other areas that otherwise would have been swallowed up by the time, labor, and equipment. In turn, this allows employees to accomplish day-to-day tasks without the burden that comes along with the costs of maintaining these systems.
This isn't something that will happen in the future: This is the current way of doing things by many leading businesses. Many common teleconferences platforms, shared data sources, document control models, and customer resource management tools are often currently cloud based. Use of these platforms and tools was only accelerated by the pandemic, particularly in healthcare where urgent needs for additional capacity was met by cloud solutions already being implemented. These trends will continue, as is always the case when technological change begets adaptation and normalization with secondary users who are slower to adapt to these business practices.
The future of cloud is real time, analyzable, understandable, and decision-oriented data and business resources. Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and robotics capabilities will only enhance and accelerate the need for businesses of all sizes and stature to understand and harness the power of cloud-based systems.
Providing talent solutions for increasing cloud demand
Cloud solutions providers recognize a current lag in readily available talent and know-how to maintain viable cloud systems and have taken active steps address the shortfall. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud providers offer short term, low-cost training certifications on cloud essential skills and competencies that can keep a companyâs incumbent workforce competitive and up-to-date on what it will take to keep cloud services working but also, proactively, make cloud a tool for improving the bottom line. Certification courses run the gamut from self-paced modules to instructor led classes, but providers are increasingly partnering with local colleges and universities, broadening opportunities for individuals to upskill and develop these high-value skills. Locally, Houston Community College, Lone Star College and the University of Houston are AWS Academy training partners that offer AWS curriculum.
To increase the pool of skilled cloud talent and its diversity, educational institutions are partnering with community organizations to extend their reach and develop the skills needed by employers. For example, Houston Area Urban Leagueâs Urban Tech Jobs Program 2.0 partners with the University of Houston who provides the AWS cloud practitioner and solutions architect courses for the Urban Leagueâs clients. In making certification courses widely available to individuals, community organizations are helping build a more robust and diverse tech talent pool.
CompTIAâs recent Workforce and Learning Trends report indicates that companies are renewing focus on worker resilience, with 42 percent of human resources professionals surveyed anticipating new efforts on upskilling and reskilling current employees. Forty-one percent said their companies will have a new emphasis on communication and on emerging tech skills for remote work.
The accelerated nature of technological change by its very nature would indicate companies need to be as proactive as possible in staying ahead of what is to come in mitigating for the disruptions that follow. This is particularly imperative when it comes to maintaining a workforce capable of supporting the systems at the heart of any business model.
As the line between labor and AI continues to blur moving forward, a business with a trained, experienced workforce will have built in competitive advantages when going to market. Building and maintaining a well-versed cloud organization will be good for business tomorrow, and the resources are currently available to make that happen today.
The Partnershipâs UpSkill Houston initiative works to strengthen the talent pipeline employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians build relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn how.