Solving for the “Cloud Talent” Shortfall

Data from a research study on app modernization in a multi-cloud world reveals that there is a chronic skills shortage when it comes to containers, Kubernetes, and multi-cloud management. Closing this skills gap using a unified approach like VMware’s is a proven step on the path to cloud success.


I’ve been spending some time going over the research study VMware did earlier in the year – App Modernization in a Multi-Cloud World. This was part of the download package made available at the digital event focused on the same topic.

From the data in the survey, some pronounced trends emerged. One of these trends was highlighted in the recent blog on the value of consistent operations, which explored how most respondents view having a consistent approach to the management of their multi-cloud environment as critical.


Skills a Major Concern Related to Modern Apps

Another clearly evident trend is that organizations are deeply concerned about their ability to have the right skill sets available to them as they advance their app modernization and multi-cloud agendas. The lack of availability of required skills, for both developers and operators, appears to be a huge barrier getting in the way of success.

Let’s start with a look at containers and microservices. The top two challenges organizations identified in transitioning to the use of containerized apps were:

  1. Finding skilled developers
  2. Finding operational staff that could support these environments


Though the order was flipped, these same two issues were at the top of the list when organizations were asked what their top challenges were around the adoption of Kubernetes. One in three organizations cited a “lack of operational skills”, with “lack of developer skills” a close second (30%).

Containers, microservices, and Kubernetes are similar topics – so maybe it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that organizations see each one as having similar challenges. All of these topics are tightly linked to the idea of building and running new applications. But what about initiatives that are less centered on application development and more closely linked to the selection of cloud environments? What happens then?


Skills Also a Multi-Cloud Use Challenge

The skills issue jumps out here as well. When asked about the key challenges faced during cloud migration initiatives, security was the top concern (35%). Yet close behind was a lack of skills – 28% of respondents cited a skills gap as a major challenge.

When it comes to multi-cloud usage, these same two issues – security and skills – emerged. Security was by far the top challenge with 41% of respondents selecting it, but the skills gap was close behind with 36% of respondents indicating that it was a challenge.


Today’s Multi-Cloud Reality Drives the Skills Gap

We know from this study and from other research in the market that the ideal future state of cloud for most organizations is a multi-cloud environment – one that is capable of supporting activities across both traditional and cloud native applications. We also know that organizations want this future state, multi-cloud environment to support a consistent approach to operations and security management, and to provide for the seamless mobility of applications across clouds.

When we think about today’s multi-cloud reality, we also know that we are far from that ideal state. In today’s multi-cloud world, each cloud is a unique and disconnected silo with its own taxonomy, APIs, and operating model. Because of this, there is little leverage of skills across all of the environments in use. Given this reality, it is easy to understand why the skills gap is top of mind for so many organizations.


VMware’s Approach Addresses the Issue of the Skills Gap

VMware’s view of multi-cloud is very much aligned to where organizations see their future.  VMware provides a unified approach to multi-cloud operations. We do this by making sure organizations can run a common infrastructure across any combination of clouds – from the data center and edge environments, to managed service providers and hyper-scaler clouds. VMware Cloud Foundation, an integrated cloud stack that addresses infrastructure and management, is the heart of this capability.

In addition, we are also focused on making sure that organizations can build and run modern applications alongside traditional apps. VMware Tanzu Grid provides an Enterprise Class Kubernetes Platform that can run in any cloud environment. Tanzu Grid can be deployed independent of Cloud Foundation but if vSphere 7 is present, it integrates with vSphere to provide a holistic view of VMs and containers to IT operators responsible for running the environment.

This approach gives organizations significant skills leverage across whatever combination of clouds they use, and across the development and operations of any kind of application – from traditional applications to containerized microservices.   It is exactly what organizations need to close the skills gap and be successful with app modernization and multi-cloud initiatives.


About the Authors

David Jasso

Director of Cloud Marketing at VMware

David Jasso is a Director of Cloud Marketing at VMware focused on Multi-Cloud operations. David joined VMware in 2011 and was a key member of the team that introduced VMware vRealize Operations to the market. He has also lead product marketing for VMware's vRealize Suite with a focus on automation and business management technologies. Prior to joining VMware, David held roles in Product Management, Industry Marketing and Product Marketing for a major Enterprise Management vendor. During his career David has also held roles in engineering program management, data warehousing project management and has been a manager of corporate finance and IT teams.

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