Avishai Sharlin is General Manager of Amdocs Technology + Digital Offerings.
Cloud technologies are becoming part of every IT environment – from operations to orchestration and beyond. Forrester predicts that by the end of 2018, more than half of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform for digital transformation. Our expectation is that Kubernetes and other related technologies will ultimately become part of our daily operational practices. And while these technologies are already making their appearance in the data center, we still need to operate and manage all existing apps, networks and IT infrastructure.
This means hybrid ecosystems are increasingly becoming the norm – with traditional applications, cloud-native apps and VNFs running together. It is, therefore, not surprising that a survey by Analysys Mason found that ninety-one percent (91 percent) of respondents believe operating cloud-native systems alongside traditional ones will become a critical challenge.
When we look at the “human” aspect of hybrid ecosystems, employees will need to learn new skills to coexist with current ones. They’ll need to operate new technologies alongside present applications and adopt new processes to cope with the evolving landscape.
So how can we help employees succeed in this hybrid world?
Aim for a Multi-disciplinary Workforce
While employees will have good familiarity with their existing environment, it’s vital for them to learn how to operate and orchestrate a new container-based environment, and how to run the two in parallel. In a hybrid environment, the operating tools and security aspects are different, and when we add the fact that apps can reside on and off premise, on private clouds or public, complexity and tools become an even bigger consideration.
As a result, employees of the future will need to master several different ecosystems, and the technical skills relevant to each of them. I would portray the ideal employee of the future as “multi-disciplinary,” since he or she will need the ability to learn skills relevant to different clouds, different IT and network environments and master those skills at the same time.
Create the Right Learning Culture
One of the essential demands of the new environment is bringing new technologies constantly into the field. The ecosystem is changing fast, thus creating a culture and practice of constant learning is critical. Supporting an ongoing education and rejuvenation of the workforce is a must, and this cannot be a one-time event, but an ongoing process that is part of your company’s DNA.
Employees need to have the desire to evolve together with the new technologies. Fortunately, time is on our side. By 2020, millennials will comprise 50 percent of the workforce. This is important because millennials grew up in a world that’s multi-disciplinary, and seek challenges that draw on the skills they acquired along the way. I believe that by combining millennials with the existing workforce, we can create the right combination to target the challenges above. This represents the first step towards building the culture we seek.
Mitigate Cybersecurity as a Limiting Factor
Today there is an apparent gap between the security needs of the industry and the available cyber-savvy workforce. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) claims there is a severe IT security skills gap as continued cloud and mobility adoption expose new threats. As part of a holistic end-to-end hybrid design and architecture, we also need to look at security and interoperability – areas that will determine the speed at which your company can effectively evolve and utilize cloud technologies. It is essential organizations prepare themselves to cope with the growing demands in cyber as this could become a must-have trait in their road to the hybrid digital era.
A Hybrid World Calls for Hybrid Employees, New Culture and New Skills
In a hybrid world, there will always be areas you’ll need to bridge between the “current” and “new.” And just as the introduction of virtualization represented a significant technology shift, and the introduction of Local Area Networks (LAN) represented a major network shift, the meeting point between cloud technologies, the enterprise network and IT ecosystems today represent a new change into the hybrid world. Mastering these challenges requires new skills, ongoing learning and adaptation, new processes and new tools. Let’s make sure we provide employees with the right supporting learning environment to take an active part in the new hybrid world.
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