The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.
There are three hyperscale cloud providers: AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft’s Azure. The three providers invest in their cloud services in ways that ensure customers can't shift their workload to other cloud providers.
Cloud hyperscale providers are creating constructs that lock in enterprises and discourage multi-cloud environments.
They do this by partnering with system integrators to push their native platform offerings. Going forward, implementation partners, strategy consulting firms, etc. will take preferred partnership status to push offerings of a cloud vendor.
These offerings make it difficult to migrate work to different clouds through a wide variety of mechanisms ranging from long-term contracts to interdependent functionality with tight integration to management tools and to attractive complementary capabilities.
Microsoft, for example, found a way to hurt the partnership between AWS and VMware by raising prices for customers using non-Microsoft clouds. They increased the licensing cost for running Microsoft workloads in competitors’ cloud platforms.
Not all moves create friction with interoperability. For instance, Google is the third major cloud vendor to tie the knot with VMware.
Following AWS’ partnership with VMware, both Microsoft and Google Cloud Platform mimicked the move by partnering with VMware.
However, for every highly publicized move to appear open and interoperable, there are three designed to constrain interoperability.
Another strategy of hyperscale cloud providers aimed at locking enterprise customers into their platform is to create important data management services, testing services and AI services.
With these services, the hyperscale solution is harder to operate across multiple clouds and increases the practical challenges of moving work from that cloud provider’s platform.
In addition, the three hyperscale cloud providers build walled gardens that contractually lock companies in. They achieve this lock-in by building alliances with other important cloud service providers, which then become necessary services as part of a customer’s ecosystem.
The providers also tie their software tightly to their hyperscale platforms. For instance, there are software tools that only work with AWS and don't work in Azure. And customers can achieve better integration for advertising tool sets in the Google Cloud Platform than others.
This strategy of creating fortress-like behavior in the cloud – allowing providers to lock in customers to their platforms – is not the only change organizations will see in 2020.
Along with this strategy, the hyperscale providers are increasing the cost of cloud. They achieve this by introducing additional costs for data storage or data transfer, for example. And the increased costs create further lock-in.
Furthermore, companies must be aware of the talent trap associated with this multi-cloud world. As talent skills form around cloud ecosystems, it becomes increasingly clear that moving talent indiscriminately across platforms comes at a high price.
A further manifestation of the talent challenges is the talent provided by service providers. It is common for service providers to claim that their teams have capabilities across all cloud platforms. But customers should be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming that the individuals that the third-party firm provides have the necessary skills and experience in their assigned areas.
It is most important to examine the skills of senior engineers and architects where deep design knowledge can make all the difference.