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Should I build a dedicated private cloud staff?

Cloud computing requires a unique set of IT skills. What staffing changes should I make to build and maintain a successful private cloud?

Businesses migrate to private clouds for a number of reasons, including increased flexibility, agility and cost...

savings. However, it's important for organizations to prepare for the many changes that are associated with a private cloud project, in terms of technology and IT staffing.

It is crucial to have both an IT and cloud staff that meet all your requirements today, as well as in the future. When adopting private cloud, mistakes in the planning stage can cause your cloud to fail. Designing, implementing, managing and maintaining a private cloud is a complex process -- and one that is way outside the scope of day-to-day system administration. To properly run a private cloud environment, and ensure it adds value to the business, IT team members require extensive knowledge of systems, software platform integration and business savvy.

For example, a private cloud typically requires the addition of new servers arranged into clusters with effective load balancing. Other private cloud requirements include the implementation of security tools like user authentication; provisioning automation and workflow orchestration to deploy and recover cloud resources; and performance monitoring to maintain effective operations and drive automation. Without the right cloud staff managing these tasks, businesses could face delays, costly oversights and possible failures.

While building and running a private cloud requires different IT skill sets, it won't reduce IT staffing needs. For a private cloud deployment, you may need to hire additional IT staff, such as cloud engineers, cloud architects and cloud designers that can drive the project and allot other IT staff to run the private cloud portion of your data center.

Keep in mind that IT talent is still needed to handle everyday tasks, such as running and maintaining IT systems, upgrading software and servicing the helpdesk; that back-end work does not go away with private cloud adoption or a dedicated cloud staff.

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This was last published in December 2015

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How has moving to the cloud impacted your IT staffing needs?
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Those skills are difficult to find, let alone organize into a centralized location. For many companies, it will be much easier to go down one of two paths:

1 - Consider "True" Private Cloud offerings, http://wikibon.com/true-private-cloud-will-begin-shipping-to-the-market-in-2016/, that will help accelerate having a Private Cloud.

2 - Consider doing a pilot with one of the PCaaS companies (e.g. Platform9, IBM BlueBox, ZeroStack) as see if your company gains benefits from just consuming a functional Private Cloud. 
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