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The 6 people you need on your Cloud Migration Dream Team

Ryan Kroonenburg
Ryan Kroonenburg

More than 80% of enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud by 2020. If you’ve yet to fully transition to the cloud, you may feel pressure to make the move ASAP. But don’t repeat others’ mistakes by winging your migration. A successful cloud transformation starts with hand picking a team with the necessary know-how, skills, and resources – and then putting them in the right roles.

Here are the six people you need to build your organization’s own Cloud Migration Dream Team.

1. Executive Sponsor

This is the Professor X to your X-Men – the Danny Ocean to your Ocean’s 11. This person’s name will be attached to your cloud migration. They own it. They’re responsible for the migration strategy and the cloud fluency of the IT organization.

This person is essential to a successful transformation, so choose wisely. Your CTO or CIO is a good place to start. If you’re a decision-maker in your organization and have the skills (and time) to take on this role, this could be you. If you’ve got a good candidate who’s a cloud novice, an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification can give them the crash course in cloud they’ll need to lead.

Who they are

  • A highly respected and accessible executive with the vision to lead a cultural shift within the IT organization
  • An IT or business leader with at least a baseline knowledge of cloud and its benefits

What they’ll do

  • Attend meetings, answer calls, and champion the cause of cloud across the organization
  • Strategize, ID success metrics, draft a migration team, determine skills gaps, and assess training and hiring needs

2. Field General

This person is the walking embodiment of Apollo 13 ground control – an expert in getting things done and keeping the mission on track without breaking a sweat. This is a director-level IT pro with cat-herding skills tasked with project management and executing migration strategy. They should be included on staffing decisions, forming partnerships, selecting vendors, and developing a communication plan.

Who they are

  • A cloud expert with business and financial skills and a solid understanding of how tech fits into the larger company strategy
  • An experienced project manager who can provide key performance indicators (KPIs) for areas such as cost avoidance, operational resilience, and workforce productivity

What they’ll do

  • Motivate the migration team, build camaraderie, and implement strategies to avoid fatigue during the process
  • Design the right processes and ensure operations run smoothly, including adopting the right tools, provisioning, billing, and developing internal cloud computing best practices
  • Serve as air traffic control, directing people to solve problems before they create delays, and keeping the project on track and on budget

3. Solutions Architect

This tinkering techie is the Donatello of your team. This is a cloud engineer responsible for designing and managing your organization’s cloud architecture, including front-end platforms, servers, storage, content delivery, and networks.

Who they are

  • An IT pro and engineer who’s a team player with cloud and cloud migration experience, including certifications for architecting or developing solutions with your cloud provider

What they’ll do

  • Work side-by-side with the System Administrator and the Security and Compliance contributors
  • Embrace innovation and try-fail-learn-repeat experimentation while being well-versed in infrastructure design best practices

4. System Administrator

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) changes the System Administrator’s role dramatically. Rather than managing hardware, this person will ensure you have the cloud resources you need.

Who they are

  • An IT pro with strong knowledge of virtual machines and cloud networking – as well as development and deployment on IaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • A cloud practitioner who understands cloud fundamentals, has a comprehensive understanding of your cloud provider, and recognizes the pitfalls of mismanaging cloud resources
  • Proficient in shell scripting and high-level programming languages like Perl, Python, and Ruby

What they’ll do

  • Responsible for managing and customizing cloud resources to meet your organization’s requirements

5. Cloud Security Manager

The Cloud Security Manager is responsible for deploying, configuring, and maintaining security baselines within your cloud environment. This individual should also set up and manage access to cloud resources using accounts, users, and groups.

Who they are

  • A cloud practitioner certified in cloud security management who understands the division of responsibility for designing and maintaining a secure cloud environment
  • An IT team member who’s a strong communicator and knowledgeable about potential vulnerabilities of virtual machines and container deployment systems

What they’ll do

  • Keep you secure and explain how cloud security works, why it’s important, and the safety protocol to your engineering team

6. Compliance Specialist

This role works closely with the Cloud Security Manager and is responsible for ensuring your organization complies with privacy and GDPR requirements for your industry.

Who they are

  • A privacy pro certified in cloud security management who can help internal teams develop privacy-respecting policies and processes

What they’ll do

  • Maintain necessary compliance certifications using tools offered by your cloud provider
  • Work with Legal and Security teams to ensure your organization’s privacy programs meet and maintain compliance standards
  • Evaluate new products, features, and processes to ensure they meet compliance guidelines

Cloud migration can be smooth, safe, cost effective, and fast if you have the right team with the right skills. If you’re among the more than half of IT leaders struggling to find the necessary people to support your cloud initiatives, consider cloud training. Whether your teams are just shy of where you need them or doing something else entirely, companies like Amazon and JPMorgan are investing in training and reskilling teams to better align with new priorities.


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