November 18, 2021 By Ken Grohe 4 min read

Acquiring and retaining top tech talent is one of the wisest investments — and biggest struggles — for almost every company out there. It’s a delicate balance to achieve the refined technical skill sets you want for your team and to understand the amount of effort that goes into recruiting those experts. The financial resourcing required to bring them onboard, even part-time, is another challenge. But without skills in cloud-based environments, DevOps or digital transformation, business leaders recognize their business will be without essential management or the ability to keep data secure from virtual threats. And, finding the best DevOps talent is not quite the straightforward process it once might have been.  

A new hiring landscape 

COVID-19 has been the most obvious and direct disruptive-factor affecting tech hiring practices. Only now are many companies realizing the effects this unexpected dynamic has had on their teams and the availability of skill sets.  

Organizations realize it requires established best practices and strong leadership to manage their application modernization as they continue to prioritize cloud transformation. This means having the right people, in the right place, from the get-go and industry analysis and recent reports show some ongoing struggles.  

DevOps professionals have become one of the top roles hiring managers are seeking to fill, with 65% looking to hire DevOps talent. Also, to encourage this recruitment effort, 74% of employers are offering to pay for employee tech certifications which many employees are beginning to seek out to offer more valuable skills to their teams according to a report by The Linux Foundation and edX.

Beyond this, companies are being more transparent about the impact of the pandemic and hiring gaps.

  • 25% of companies report delays in investments in new tools  
  • 21% report massive workloads increased with coworkers being laid off or furloughed 
  • 21% report pay cuts required to sustain operations during the COVID-19 crisis 
  • 19% had annual promotions delayed 
  • 14% report reduced hours of work 

This provides necessary perspective to understand why companies can be struggling to fill in the tech skill gaps required to keep their cloud-based and DevOps initiatives moving forward. While the picture painted here is challenging, it isn’t impossible to overcome — especially when companies partner with talent providers in a consulting or managed services capacity. 

Focusing on the future 

Companies are striving to find the best strategy to cope with a lack of top talent. Executives understand the sooner these essential resources are replaced, the faster their organization can gain a competitive edge. Yet the top prioritization and growing need don’t automatically supply the demand. In fact, talent seeking has become even more of an issue and those people who possess the desired skills are finding themselves pursued by companies who offer extra perks like higher salaries — despite budget cuts — and access to online training for more specialized up-skilling.   

Qualified open-source talent is still in short supply: 93% of hiring managers report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open-source skills. 

One approach organizations have started to rely on is more online coursework to enhance the skills of their in-house teams so they can circumvent actual hiring. Others are upping app development processes to boost revenue and to secure more immediate market share with better performance and more optimized user experiences.  

However, to sustain this growth still requires DevOps management, which remains lacking and slows potential expansion and sustainability.  

Solving the skills gap challenge 

Partnering with a strategic advisor and skills provider is another approach companies are discovering. They find this to be highly effective in closing the gap, empowering their cloud-based initiatives and allowing them to keep their core teams focused on business-critical projects.  

Taos, an IBM Company and leader in multicloud and DevOps services, has begun to find ways to offer this to companies that want to accelerate cloud adoption while keeping their environments secure via modern agile delivery and management methodology. Taos has launched two new services, Taos Cloud Advisory Services and DevSecOps Now. Both are geared toward helping companies balance their talent needs and their growth priorities. 

Taos Cloud Advisory Services is a suite of outcome-driven strategic consulting services that help customers optimize opportunities found within public cloud environments while reducing implementation risks. This service is founded on the Taos Navigator Methodology, a proven strategy that streamlines the digital transformation and cloud adoption journey for clients.  

A central offering in this service suite is the Application Modernization Advisory Service, which provides expert guidance geared toward a customer’s unique needs and is designed to increase the adoption of containerized workloads. The proven and strategic blueprint found in this advisory service reduces risk found along the transformation journey while also positioning applications to be re-platformed through containerization and for monolithic applications that can be re-architected into a micro services architecture.  

The second talent-focused offering is DevSecOps Now. Taos’ highly successful DevOps Now service inspired this new development with a security focus, letting a company bring in security experts based on a simple and flexible monthly subscription service. DevSecOps Now is here to help eliminate security issues during app development, rather than the costly process of retrofitting security into production solutions once they’re implemented.  

Taos security consultants work alongside the client’s teams and enmesh themselves in the organization’s culture to better understand the values and priorities. This lets them integrate DevOps principles within ongoing operational workflows to harden their security posture in an agile manner in hyper-scaler environments. Customers can take advantage of extreme flexibility in choosing the best expertise and resources for their specific situation and help accelerate and automate security implementation in their environments. 

Growing beyond the skills gap 

It’s refreshing to know that even as the pandemic may have introduced numerous challenges that will have ripple effects for years to come, it has also inspired innovation and strategic solutions that can empower companies to grow despite an immediate lack of talent or available resources. By relying on service providers and available tech experts, organizations can access all the insight and expertise necessary to empower their success and app modernization without having to sink vital resources into untested hires or disparate solutions. 

Other benefits include scalability, as more talent can be allocated based on internal demand as well as whatever stage the company is in throughout the transformation process or cloud adoption journey. For any company looking to enjoy these and many other benefits without dealing with the risk of upfront cost investment or slower growth, these sorts of services are increasingly stepping into the gap and offering proven, powerful solutions that make the future far brighter and full of new opportunities. 

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