December 14, 2022 – Everyone is talking about the journey to the cloud. Before the pandemic, 88 percent of all organizations had begun the transition, although most are only a short way into that journey. Most enterprises are only at 20 percent of full cloud integration, says one study, by IBM and McKinsey. The reason most companies are still slow-rolling their move to the cloud? On top of being an overwhelming process, and a lack of talent, the transition to the cloud is complex, says executive search firm Beecher Reagan in a compelling report. As a result, many companies fail to realize the high value return on strategic investment in this area.
“Managing multi-cloud platforms, hybrid cloud strategies, and transition planning for legacy systems is a heavy lift, one that most enterprises have been reticent to begin,” said Beecher Reagan. “In many cases organizations don’t have a clear understanding of the multiple cloud solutions and are still concerned about the business risk and security challenges. With so much work still to be done here, the revenue opportunity for businesses and providers to maximize the cloud remains significant, and management consulting and IT services firms have been amassing teams of tech talent to capitalize on the opportunity.”
Time, says Beecher Reagan, will ultimately reward those who right now take a decisive stake in the cloud game–and move swiftly to retain the talent that supports that play. “It’s rare to find talent that can be everything to everyone,” said the report. “And this is no less true than for the move to the cloud. The problems are layered and complex, demanding a requisite diversity of talent with deep expertise.”
In the professional services world, organizations have historically been strategy or implementation experts, with a small handful offering the full end to end service. The lines are quickly blurring here however, and so for those wanting to gain market share, it is imperative that they employ the right talent pools that can both strategize and deliver. “Candidates with a strong understanding of the technical nuances of the hyperscale cloud-service providers and their lower tier challengers, coupled with deep industry expertise and commercial acumen are hard to find,” said Beecher Reagan.
Place Your Bets
Still, very few firms will have the capacity to serve every segment, or at least to do so well. “That’s why you need to make a searching assessment of your strengths and decide you want to be when it comes to cloud consulting,” said the report. “Now is the time for consulting firms to place their bets on who they want to be, and to invest in and develop the right talent that will enable them to deliver on their promise.”
While most organizations are looking at the move to cloud from a cost standpoint, the transition goes beyond line items and bottom lines. “It’s about a holistic approach to harnessing the power of the cloud to unlock massive value,” said Beecher Reagan. “And the key to unlocking this potential value is having the right people.”
What does that talent look like? Beecher Reagan says these individuals have deep industry knowledge and understand business drivers; they understand how to leverage data and optimize technology to drive business value; and they know how to integrate existing assets with new capabilities to uncover revenue potential whilst decreasing IT spend. “They are a bridge between old and new, tech and tradition,” said the report. “And most of all, these people are in high demand.”
So how do you attract and secure the elusive talent to get ahead in the cloud game? There are simply no shortcuts, says Beecher Reagan. “Finding the right talent takes a tremendous investment in time and resources,” said the report. “That’s why many firms look to organic growth to fill their future talent needs.”
But like the proverbial “chicken and egg” dilemma, it’s tough to grow talent within if you don’t have any expertise to begin with. “You need a starting lineup of cloud savvy experts who can pull from deep skill sets and time-tested knowledge to train up a cadre of new talent,” said the search firm. “That’s why a small investment in the right talent today is critical for capturing the lead in the cloud talent market share of tomorrow.”
And time is of the essence. “Even before the pandemic, 25 percent of companies had plans to move all of their applications to cloud,” said the report. “Now, the global move to remote work has undoubtedly accelerated those plans. As a result, the coming run on cloud talent is inevitable. In fact, it’s already happening.”
Founded in 2009 by Clark Beecher and Tim Reagan, Beecher Reagan is an executive search and leadership firm focused exclusively on senior professional services and the consulting talent market. The firm brings more than 100 years of combined experience to help professional services, Fortune 500 and alternative investment companies map search strategies to organizational goals. The partners at Beecher Reagan have longstanding relationships within the consulting, professional services, and private equity space.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media