There’s a reason why enterprise organizations are slow to migrate out of legacy data center models: the task of this transition is incredibly complex, and can require specialized tools and resources not readily in supply within the organization.
Count specialized infrastructure skill-sets among the resource shortages holding up cloud migration projects. According to research from Gartner, fewer than 10 percent of enterprise organizations had developed skills for the hybrid and multicloud infrastructure automation required to transition those companies away from legacy data center operations.
By 2025, only 50 percent of enterprises are projected to onboard or develop those skills, underscoring the reality that legacy data center models will continue to constrain operations at many enterprise organizations well into the future.
While a lack of skills is a valid reason to delay any IT infrastructure project, legacy data centers remain an unsustainable element of IT infrastructure that must be abandoned to optimize business operations and revenue opportunities.
The Unique Skills Requirements of Data Center Migration
The typical enterprise IT department is staffed with professionals whose skills serve your day-to-day infrastructure needs or long-term IT initiatives. The same is often true when outsourcing IT to a third-party service management provider: while these partners may offer ideal skill-sets for managing and optimizing your existing infrastructure, transitioning to a new data center is a completely different task.
Migrating from legacy data centers to a hybrid or cloud setup requires knowledge on both sides of this IT divide: while IT professionals need to be skilled in cloud automation and the new solutions you’re implementing, they also need to have a working knowledge of your existing legacy data center, including how this infrastructure is supporting other aspects of your digital operations.
Finding the right mix of skill-sets is hard. To complicate this challenge, many other enterprise organizations are facing the same skills deficit, resulting in a shortage of skilled specialists and partner vendors. Competition for this skilled talent is high, and businesses must also consider the long-term value of these individuals when evaluating professionals as full-time hires: Once the migration project is complete, how can these newly acquired skills continue to serve your organization?
Developing Skills vs. Seeking Out Specialists
When approaching a data center migration project, enterprise organizations are typically faced with three options for acquiring the necessary skills to execute this project:
- Training existing IT professionals to equip them with the necessary skills.
- Hiring new IT staff as a means of bolstering in-house skillsets.
- Working with an outside partner offering these specialized skills.
In some cases, organizations may attempt to address their skills shortage by combining two or more of these approaches. Each option has its own pros and cons, and the argument for or against this approach can vary based on the specific IT project or needs you are facing. For data center migration, though, stark disadvantages can be found with the first two methods of skills acquisition.
While training in-house staff offers some appealing benefits at first glance—namely, the increased value of your existing IT professionals, and the avoidance of increasing IT payroll—organizations should also be cognizant of the amount of training required to effectively onboard the skills required for complex data center migration. Training itself can be costly and time-consuming, and these skills may have limited value once the migration project is complete—and, if you take this approach, you will be relying on project leads whose training is not backed up by any real-world experience.
Hiring new professionals can be a great strategy for onboarding specialized skills and seeking out experience to lead your migration project. But new hires come at a significant long-term cost, as well as short-term costs of onboarding into your organization, and these professionals may not offer a great long-term fit once the migration is complete.
Outside partners, by contrast, can help you control your costs and avoid adding payroll, and they can be a great resource for attaching experienced professionals to your project. But this partner must be chosen carefully, and it might not be as simple as working with your current TPSM vendor, since some of these partners reap financial gains from keeping your business with legacy data centers that require constant maintenance and upkeep. For this reason, it’s likely your organization will need to seek out a new IT partner specifically for the purposes of leveraging specialized skill-sets to maximize the value of data center migration.
Balancing Migration Costs vs. Outcomes
While cost is a constant concern with data center migration—or with any other IT project, for that matter—the stakes of this infrastructure project require organizations to prioritize outcomes and long-term value over short-term costs. At the same time, an ideal TPSM company with the requisite data center specializations may be able to help you maximize your outcomes while also controlling costs.
At Origina, for example, our service teams offer the specialized skill-sets and depth of experience required to manage both your migration out of legacy software and into hybrid, cloud and/or SaaS infrastructure. Through our optimized resource utilization, we can strategically scale back your reliance on legacy data centers to reduce costs and free up your budget to fund your cloud migration project.
Our in-house experts are intimately familiar with the design of legacy data centers, which makes them invaluable in reconfiguring your enterprise tech stacks to minimize business disruptions, manage costs, and set your new data center model up for long-term success and ROI.
When planning out complex infrastructure projects, the right skills make all the difference. Learn more about the benefits of working with Origina—download our latest guide.