Cloud Native Skill Gaps are Killing Your Gains
Of the many business challenges that organizations face today, I’d argue that skill gaps are one of the most underestimated. Many organizations don’t realize the impact, but the research is staggering: 90% of organizations will be affected by digital transformation IT skill shortages, which will cost more than $6.5 trillion globally by 2025, according to IDC.
When it comes to modern technology like cloud native computing, the impact of skill gaps becomes even more apparent. We all know that Kubernetes and containers enable us to move faster and ultimately make more money, but do we have enough people power to manage that?
According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s 2022 Annual Survey, 44% of respondents that have yet to deploy containers in production said that lack of training is the most significant barrier inhibiting adoption. Even though containers are beginning to be considered the “new normal,” the hiring landscape simply doesn’t reflect the level of demand.
Why It’s Hard to Hire Cloud Native Experts
We’ve identified that there’s a cloud native skill gap, but for the people who actually are cloud native experts, competition for their talent is fierce. Here’s why:
- Highly skilled engineers know their worth — Expect to pay up. Engineers who are experts in cloud native technology know that their skill sets are in high demand and have countless organizations vying for their talent. As a result of their expertise, these engineers can command industry-leading compensation packages and work agreements. The Googles of the world might not have a problem attracting these types of engineers, but not every company can offer lavish compensation packages featuring six-figure salaries, stock plans, catered meals and other desirable perks.
- Difficult economic headwinds — We’ve all heard about the recent downturn in economic activity; companies are trying to tighten up while remaining competitive. Like I said, highly skilled engineers are expensive, and it can be difficult to keep pace from a hiring perspective in light of these difficult economic headwinds. As a result, many organizations are looking to alternative sources of talent, such as recent graduates and remote workers, to fill the gaps in their engineering departments. However, these sources of talent might not have much real-world experience when it comes to cloud native expertise.
- Rapidly changing technology — Modern technology moves FAST! Kubernetes and containers weren’t a thing until the last decade, so it’s hard to find folks who are truly experts at it. Recruiters often rely on certifications to assess capability, but a certification alone doesn’t necessarily indicate a person’s organizational experience. In addition, university programs provide only basic development skills, resulting in a lack of cloud native technology training for recent grads.
The Solution: Skill up Your People!
So, what’s the solution? Clearly, hiring people who are currently cloud native experts is difficult, ultra-competitive and expensive.
However, look inside your own organization and you’ll likely find people who are highly capable, intelligent and driven. Consider skilling up your existing employee base — your greatest asset — through robust training and certification programs. The benefits of providing a training and certification program to your employees are expansive:
- Competitive advantage — Training your people so they’re well-equipped with the skills necessary to keep your cloud native technology running will increase your agility, scalability and even reduce costs. You’ll develop an immediate competitive advantage in comparison to organizations that haven’t made that same investment in their organizations.
- Consistency and security — By training your people organically through a modern training and certification program, you’ll experience improved consistency across your teams. This consistency can help accelerate your organization’s speed in deploying, adopting and maintaining cloud native technology. In addition, this consistency can help bolster your security posture, as everyone will be following the same frameworks and standards.
- Career advancement — Training and certifying your people leads to career advancement within your organization. By offering opportunities to grow and develop internally, you can encourage mastery in cloud native technology within your employee base. In fact, in our experience with customers, we’ve even witnessed organizations skill up folks who were originally in nontechnical roles and who are now superstars in cloud native technology!
- Talent retention — Talent retention and career advancement go hand in hand. When your people know that they can advance in their careers and therefore increase their earnings within your organization, they’re compelled to stay longer. In fact, according to the American Upskilling Study, 61% of respondents said that upskilling opportunities are an important reason to stay at their job.
Through engagements between our consulting division, VMware Tanzu Labs (formerly Pivotal Labs) and organizations of all types across industries undergoing technological and cultural transformation, we see firsthand how critical learning and development are to their success. We believe cloud native skill gaps are a challenge worth conquering.
Consider skilling up your workforce in order to face this world of modern development, and you’ll be amazed at the outcomes your organization can accomplish. To learn more about the impact of skilling up your people for cloud native technology, check out the webinar “Unlocking the Full Potential of Cloud Native Technology with Education & Training.”
To start supporting your platform and application business goals today, check out freely available training programs:
Spring Academy — A comprehensive, project-based learning platform providing development projects that get you using Spring in real-world development scenarios and can help you prepare for the official Spring Certified Professional exam.
Kube Academy — A resource with dozens of courses led by subject-matter experts that offers hands-on practice with Kubernetes.
Tanzu Academy — An on-demand learning hub for platform and app operators to become experts at achieving desired outcomes with VMware Tanzu products, featuring highly curated material, such as tutorials, guides, hands-on labs infrastructure, and even a certification course that’s recognized across the industry.
Whether it’s enhancing platform and app engineering processes, optimizing workflows, or ultimately making your organization move more quickly, courses such as those offered in these active learning hubs can help equip your people with the skills they need to make your cloud native strategy successful.