Wanted: Cloud Expertise

Jason McKinney


If you look at recent reports on enterprise cloud adoption, it’s obvious that the cloud is soaring. The stats in RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report are impressive.

  • 95% of enterprise respondents are running applications or experimenting with IaaS deployments.
  • 82% of companies have a hybrid cloud strategy.
  • Enterprise private cloud adoption rose from 63% to 77%, year-over-year

As far as barriers to cloud migration, there was a time when security concerns would have been the number one inhibitor. However, according to RightScale, today’s top issue is a lack of cloud expertise, with almost a third of respondents saying that IT resources and expertise were the chief challenges facing their cloud deployments. Concerns about a lack of expertise extend over all the classes of cloud adopters defined in the report, from “Cloud Beginners,” to “Cloud Explorers,” and even the most sophisticated and experienced “Cloud Focused” organizations.

The Right Stuff

Expertise is an obvious must for an organization creating its own private cloud, but it’s also important for public and hybrid cloud deployments. Skills are needed in multiple categories, including cloud design and deployment, interconnection, management, security and performance optimization. Each cloud provider – from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure and the scores of smaller IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers – has its own particular architecture, APIs, language and quirks. Successful cloud deployments require the help of certified experts in your chosen cloud services.

As a result, cloud solutions architects, administrators and other cloud experts are in short supply and high demand, with salaries well into six figures. According to a Computerworld survey, cloud/software-as-a-service (SaaS) skills are expected to be one of the 10 hottest tech skills in 2016.

Get Help

One way to fill in the expertise gaps in any organization is to hire outside help. Consulting offerings can enable organizations to accomplish everything from assessing applications for cloud migration, to selecting the best cloud architectures for a specific workload deployment, to planning a migration with minimal risk, disruption and cost.

For example, our Global Solutions Architects lend their extensive technology and industry expertise to IT organizations for planning and designing IT infrastructures, networks and cloud migrations to ensure the best business outcome. Equinix Professional Services for Cloud (includes Nimbo, which was acquired by Equinix in early 2015) specializes in hybrid cloud acceleration, assessments, optimizations and specializations.

In specific cases, such as in this global engineering company case study, EPS Cloud has guided customers to an optimal hybrid cloud solution leveraging the Equinix Cloud Exchange, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

In other scenarios, customers have jumped into public cloud consumption and needed to re-assess how to best leverage the public cloud, since it evolves at a rapid pace. Our optimization methodology has helped organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society reduce costs, improve performance and utilize the best features in a hybrid cloud environment.

Along with leveraging our cloud expertise and resources, enterprises and service providers will find a lot of cloud and network “gravity” at Equinix, with access to more than 500 cloud providers and 1,100-plus networks. And IT organizations are welcome to validate and optimize their network and cloud deployments in our real-world Solution Validation Centers.

So IT organizations can harness expert professional services and cloud deployment expertise under “one roof.” And they can access vendor-neutral cloud and network ecosystems that will help expedite cloud adoption while lowering risks and costs.