In a recent article, David Linthicum pointed out that sometimes the best and brightest don't always get rewarded in the IT world. He points out some things you may have seen as either a manager or an IT employee, and makes one point in particular:
"Pay is more a matter of how well an employee can negotiate a salary, than a matter of merit or talent."
It's an unfortunate truth in many industries and seems to be very prevalent in IT for lots of reasons. But David makes the point that he's seen some in the IT world who were resistant to cloud being given promotions and put in areas of leadership, while genuine cloud promoters have been left behind. Unfortunately, we've seen the same thing in client's we've helped move to the cloud.
Finally, David makes the point it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, this disruptive change in IT, this movement of services, and data to the cloud, can be a way for IT managers to adjust their organizations by promoting those with genuine vision, and who see the value of new technology. He gives two good approaches to help managers do that. But the question I feel many managers will be left with is, "How do I begin to vet my staff on how well they embrace the cloud?" I also feel that many IT have been asking that for some time, and, after David's article will do more soul searching over the question, "How do I stand out in this sea of change, and make this into a career opportunity." In this article, I'll provide some strategies to answer both of those questions. In my opinion how organizations and their employees answer that question is critically important because the shift to the cloud can make or break your IT team and career.
Managers: Provide Opportunities for Education
David says that organizations should:
"...use metrics for promotions and raises that value vision and innovation..." and "focus on value delivered by IT," specifically reducing costs, while increasing productivty and agility (all things cloud was made for).
But how does an IT manager do that with an IT team that has its own hierarchy, either written or unwritten? One of the best ways to see who's interested in new technologies and innovative approaches is to offer training. Great training and certification programs are compelling to people who want to advance their career. They're very compelling to people who may feel stuck in the status quo. They aren't the IT stars today, but, training and certification can level the playing field.
You can see who's interested in training, who goes, who follows up and gets certified, and who wants more. That will give you an idea who values vision and innovation. Then, you can use something you have way too much of, IT challenges and problems, to see who your new stars might be.
You know what your IT challenges are. They probably range from small and annoying to problems that have been sitting in the corner of your whiteboard for so long they can no longer be erased. You likely have some you've tried to solve, but they keep coming back. Others you've had in the "too hard" box for far too long. Throw them out to your team. Have them put their new knowledge to work brainstorming solutions. Suddenly, the same small set of IT elders who always speak up in the IT all staff will be joined by a number of new voices who now have a grasp of how the cloud can solve your IT problems. Then you'll find out who understands the promise of cloud, and who can apply the capabilities and benefits of the cloud to solve your real problems.
Employees: Take Opportunities for Education
Simply put this is your chance to take advantage of this massive paradigm shift to Cloud and make it work to your advantage and move your career forward. Find out what training is available. If you see the direction your organization's IT is going, ask for training to help you get the skills you need to be a part of that transformation. If your organization hasn't made firm decisions on their IT direction yet, ask your manager what skills or new expertise he needs on the team, find training, and ask the organization to invest in you. You'll be a go-getter, and the training you'll get will be a win for you and your organization.
Managers and Employees: The Right Approach is Key
We offer and recommend vendor neutral cloud training. Vendor specific cloud training such as that from AWS or Azure is great, once you have those systems. Most organizations today, have multi-cloud deployments. Having the skills and tools to properly evaluate and compare cloud services, and providers are essential to know what options you have for solving IT problems now, and what options you'll need to plan for once you're in the cloud. CloudMaster cloud computing classes are a comprehensive series that take students through planning, deployment, sysops, and cloud architecture design. They're all backed by certifications from the Nation Cloud Technologists Association. There's no better, or faster, way to get your team, or yourself, on a solid trajectory to make the most of this shift to the cloud.
CarverTC offers Cloudmaster cloud computing classes and certification prep across North America.