CoSN Community

1.  What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-18-2017 12:09
As you start the migration to cloud computing, what are the new skills and/or attitudes that you need to develop in your IT team?

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Marie Bjerede
Founder
Consortium for School Networking
(503) 341-0566
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2.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-19-2017 22:28
Edited by Keith Bockwoldt 07-19-2017 22:43
One of the attitudes off the top of my head is moving away from the hardware. It's hard for staff to think of anything "outsourced". I ask my staff one simple question; wouldn't you like to have more time to work on the many other projects instead of maintaining in-house equipment? The answer is a resounding yes. This is due to amount of work moving to IT as the world becomes more digital.

When it comes to skills, it's about maintaining virtual machines in a cloud environment, which is a fairly simple process.

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Keith Bockwoldt
Director of Technology Services
Township High School District 214
Arlington Heights IL
(847) 718-7671
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3.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-20-2017 07:51
Keith makes an excellent point.  Our system admins and network admins sometimes get caught up with hardware.  It does require a sit down with them to discuss that there is really no difference between using equipment in the cloud and equipment in our data center.  After all, they usually rack the equipment in the data center, turn the lights out and then access it from their desks.

More importantly, it is getting the entire IT staff to focus on what our mission is and evaluating which services are better served by the cloud to fulfill our mission.  Simple enough.  However, I think it is much more complex.  I have talked with districts who look at the cloud as a way to minimize their obligations to compliance and security.  If anything, it increases our need for due diligence.  Not everything works better in the cloud nor should everything be in the cloud.  It is an analysis each district has to make.

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Vince Humes
Director Innovative Technology Solutions
Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5
Edinboro PA
(814) 734-8390
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4.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-20-2017 08:03
I think working with your current IT dept is key. Some will see it as a threat or as a possible job loss coming for them. Transitioning them to a situation where your devices auto update themselves and required little IT intervention may scare them.

As someone else said, we now can do things we´ve always wanted to do. We didnt cut anymore---just reorganized the work.



Kieran

Kieran O'Connor
Executive Director of Planning, Development and Technology
East Syracuse Minoa Central Schools

315-434-3008 or internal x2661





5.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-20-2017 08:21
After moving aggressively to the cloud (ERP, SIS, Hosted data center, and many SaaS apps) I can say with confidence the #1 skill CIOs need is courage, closely followed by change management.   It is inevitable that the move to the cloud will continue and 3-7 years from now we'll look back on custom on prem apps as something as old school as cassette tapes, DVDs, and software like WorkPerfect.   My uptime has dramatically improved with our move to the cloud so the drivers are there for the transition, the question is who has the courage and skills to manage the change to bring IT into the 21st century.

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Andrew Moore
CIO
Boulder Valley School District
Boulder CO
(720) 561-5050
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6.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 07-21-2017 08:41
All great points!  When we started moving services to the cloud about 5 years ago we made a conscious effort to ensure staff understood that their roles would be changing.  No one was losing their jobs, this was not an outsourcing of IT staff, and the work was not going away, it was just going to be different.  Instead of typical behind the scenes engineer work, they would now focus more on brokering services to end users which involves more direct customer interaction.  It took a little while for the teams to adjust, but they eventually preferred their new roles.  It has allowed the IT staff to have a better understanding of how systems are used across the district and feel more connected to the mission.

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Aaron Smith
Director of Technology Systems and Applications
Loudoun County Public Schools
Ashburn VA
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7.  RE: What skills do you need to move to cloud?

Posted 09-19-2017 09:52
​Aaron,

As a new manager of a group in transition, I'm interested in what techniques you used to encourage your staff to develop new skills and adapt to the cloud concepts of computing.   My staff is generally older and very comfortable with the way things were.

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Daniel Sloan
Technical Services Manager
Des Moines Public Schools
Des Moines IA
(515) 242-8251
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