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The Cloud Expertise Shortage Is Real; This New Services Model Helps You Overcome It

The shortage of technical skills in IT staff, particularly in cloud computing, has become a huge challenge—to the point where organizations are losing market share and revenue due to a cloud expertise deficiency that prevents them from gaining the benefits of the cloud and emerging technologies.

There was a shortage of experienced cloud talent before COVID-19, and the pandemic triggered a new wave of demand, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.1 Citing a report from labor and economics research firm Emsi, it said annual postings of cloud jobs grew more than 90% between 2017 and 2020.

The trend continued in the first three quarters of 2021, with cloud computing job posts up nearly 31% in the nine months through September, compared with a nearly 8% rise in overall tech job postings for the same period.2 “Cloud computing remains the number one most sought after skill,” says Megan Slabinski, district president at recruiting firm Robert Half. “Demand has never been higher.”

This is bad news for companies looking to expand their use of the cloud and to optimize the value of their multicloud strategies. They are now competing against the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft for talent and dealing with a market in which salaries are rising and cloud personnel are demanding more autonomy, flexible working conditions and other benefits.

Finding, training and retaining talent in this environment is a huge issue.

The expertise problem is compounded even further by the conflicting priorities of keeping the operational lights on while also finding room to innovate. With technologies such as artificial intelligence and containers advancing, as well as new security protocols that continually need to be put into place, those wanting to reap the biggest rewards from cloud technology need to make a concerted investment of time in securing the right set of skills.

Traditional Managed Models Leave Gaps
One way to ease the IT staffing burden is to work with a managed cloud service company. However, while these organizations have the expertise to mitigate internal IT staff challenges, the ways in which they manage and charge for services are typically inflexible in terms of scope and contract structures.

These management and contract limitations make most managed cloud services companies less able to meet the requirements of today’s cloud models, in which customers are embracing a consumption-based approach and transforming into DevOps-focused operations.

In today’s environment, the boundaries between infrastructure and applications and “build” and “operate” are increasingly blurry. To meet these challenges, organizations need specialized engineering and operations capabilities from their partners and an approach to service delivery that is more agile and suited to handle both traditional applications and cloud-native operating models.

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A New Model for Cloud Services
The first service provider to flip the paradigm and modernize support and engineering services is Rackspace Technology, with a new offering called Rackspace Elastic Engineering. At the core of this new model are Pods, which are groups of cloud specialists—including architects, engineers and engagement managers—dedicated to an organization and focused on delivering outcomes around a set of technologies.

Customers always work in the same Pod so that team members are familiar with the organization’s environment, personnel, challenges and goals. They consume Rackspace Elastic Engineering services in a consumption-based model, with a flexible pool of hours that can be scaled up or down each month based on the organization’s business demands. 

This modern delivery approach gives organizations increased control over operational costs and staffing challenges and produces high customer affinity, with the Pod serving as an extension of the customer’s team while delivering transformative engineering and operations services. 

One such service offering is dedicated to VMware platforms and technologies. Rackspace Elastic Engineering for VMware is designed to help customers take advantage of powerful VMware attributes, including traditional and cloud-native capabilities, and accelerate innovation across their VMware environment. 

As VMware’s portfolio of products continues to expand, customers will find great value in having the ability to collaborate with dedicated experts in all aspects of VMware and data center management, from VMware multicloud infrastructure and migrations to networking and hardware, including  hyper-converged infrastructure like Dell EMC VxRail.    

Customers also benefit from access to Rackspace Technology’s full portfolio of services, such as cloud migration and adoption, cloud optimization, applications and end-to-end security. In addition, customers benefit from Rackspace Technology’s broad ecosystem of partners, including the major hyperscale providers as well as tech leaders Dell Technologies and VMware.

Private cloud and hybrid platforms leverage the significant breakthroughs in performance, resilience and security from 3rd Gen Intel Xeon processors, optimized for cloud, enterprise, high-performance, network, security and internet of things workloads. 

Taking the Next Step
The IT skills gap and shortage is real and shows no signs of letting up in the near future. Organizations can mitigate the impact of that by working with a company that specializes in the delivery of cloud services. But it has to be the right services and the right delivery model.

Rackspace Elastic Engineering is setting a new standard for delivering support and engineering expertise for both traditional and cloud-native services. Learn more about how Rackspace Technology can help you mitigate the impact of the IT staff and skills shortage by complementing and supplementing your internal resources.  (Please provide the hyperlink you would like to use).

1Lack of Engineers Keeping Some Firms Out of the Cloud,” The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 2021
2 Ibid.