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An enterprise strategy for closing the IT skills gap

February 2012

In today’s business world, everything is mobile, connected, interactive, immediate and fluid. The ubiquitous presence of instant communications, smart devices, mobile and web-enabled apps and social networking is driving a global, 24/7 economy that changes how businesses interact with their customers, suppliers and partners.

Information Technology (IT) is key to transforming how businesses innovate and execute in this dynamic marketplace. Enterprises are eager to embrace cloud computing because of its potential for improving agility, cutting costs and reducing time to revenue. This often means consolidating and virtualizing data centers, and developing and deploying cloud service solutions to meet the pace and scaling needs of the business. For most companies, this represents a significant technology transformation.

The building blocks of cloud computing are readily available today. HP Cloud Solutions, based on HP Converged Infrastructure, provide the hardware, software, services and programs that enable service providers, enterprises and governments to rapidly and securely deliver IT as a service. The physical components are all there. Nevertheless, many organizations are challenged in their evolution to the cloud because their people lack the necessary skills and experience to lead the data center transformation. According to the IT advisory and research firm TheInfoPro, the top inhibitor of cloud projects is the aspect of the IT workers learning all the changes in the technologies and tactics. They have an IT expertise gap.

Converged infrastructure and cloud computing are solution-oriented strategies where tightly coupled pre-integrated components—the servers, storage, networking and management software—work together to achieve the desired performance objectives. A cloud solution takes a converged infrastructure platform and adds the need for business and services model definition, application software, and a services provisioning model. This construct is new to most IT professionals who don’t have the know-how and experience to architect, integrate, operate and support a complete cloud solution running on a converged infrastructure.

The newness of these technologies and the associated tasks create a complex working environment for the IT organization that must maintain existing systems and applications while simultaneously transforming the data center to the new computing model. It’s a lot like changing the tires on a bus while it’s moving full speed down the highway. The difference between the skills and expertise IT workers currently possess and what is required to support new technologies and job roles—the IT expertise gap—is widening for most organizations as new business models emerge and technology rapidly evolves.

The growing gap is also forcing IT organizations to rethink how they manage their resources. Many are looking to have smaller core staffs of IT professionals who have the broad and deep skills to fill multiple job roles/positions and to gain the flexibility needed for evolving services and provisioning strategies. This core staff would be accompanied by a flexible sourcing strategy to help the organization reduce operational costs and increase staffing flexibility. This sourcing strategy could include professional services providers and/or contracted individuals with specialized expertise.

IT professionals today need a broader and deeper set of skills which includes knowledge of multiple solution architectures, services strategies, and technology platforms, as well as the capability to ensure interoperability across the entire solution. The new skill set also includes strong business acumen in order to understand business priorities and objectives and how they can be served by IT. To accomplish these skilling goals, IT certification and training programs must incorporate business-relevant content with multi-vendor knowledge and experience to enable an IT staff to execute more effectively.

HP ExpertONE has the solutions and products to close the IT expertise gap for individuals and the organizations they support.

For more information
HP ExpertONE
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HP Strategy and Planning Services
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