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Top 10 Mistakes Companies Make Getting Started with Azure: #9— Not retraining or restructuring existing employees

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

Editor’s note: This post continues our series about Getting Started with Azure. Previous posts in the series include:
Last time, we covered the need for a company adoption strategy in your Azure implementation journey. Here’s another roadblock you have to get past: your employees’ familiarity with your prior ways of doing things. Implementing changes without taking into consideration the need to retrain and restructure your current work dynamics can easily lead to trouble—or, at the very least, inefficiencies.
Companies that get bogged down because they don’t retrain and restructure experience challenges in successfully using the cloud down the road. I’ve seen distractions including resistance from the bottom up, even to the point where organizations have to bring in more and more consultants.
This is particularly pervasive in very large organizations but can even be prevalent in small companies if not properly addressed. A typical hierarchy in large organizations is one with siloed teams, each developed for one reason or another throughout time.
For example, a traditional IT organization chart features teams separated into duty-focused clusters: a Windows Team, Linux Team, Storage Team, Network Team, Security Team, Management Team, Identity Team and so forth. These teams typically do not speak well to each other due to the very distinct lines separating them; they all have managers, all have silos, and are all focused on their own duties.
Those dynamics have worked in the past. Why change something that might not need fixing?
The reason is the rationale for some of those teams existing starts to drop off when switching processes. As you transition to the cloud, you’re not as concerned with storage, the core networking, Windows vs. Lint vs. Linux vs. Hyperconverge, or ITSM. These start to bleed between each other, even in consulting organizations.
What I have seen scaling up my team is the need to collapse some of the teams together. The perk of the cloud is that it brings crossover between roles.
Most organizations that are successful are moving away from cloud delivery instead to cloud enablement. Cloud enablement means something very different—it means multi-skill, architecture and governance but not control or blockers. It means creating new corporate cloud application teams.

Ultimately, what’s happening is the operations side of the business is moving over to the application side and we are moving to a world where the idea that these two teams being completely segmented from each other has faded. We are assuming the people building the software are very involved in the operational process. As a result, our operations teams have taken on more of that load and they’re more closely tied to their customer.
The security team, I’m finding, continues to be somewhat segmented from the other teams—but that’s for good reason. You tend to need a team that hangs around to be able to audit others and ensure that consistency of delivery is successful and that the red team approach still exists.

This increased dependence on a multi-skilled framework—employees that have an ability to engage in Azure platform know about storage, networking, computing, DevOps and others—start to combine their skills together. This cohesive merging is natural but takes careful supporting.
If you have questions about how to get started with planning for your organization, we welcome you to contact us.

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer

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