Data, Security & the Cloud: Key Takeaways from TechConnect

Data, Security & the Cloud: Key Takeaways from TechConnect

Last week’s Tech Connect was packed with actionable insights and expertise. Outside of the virtual experience, it was the first conference we’ve attended that has, frankly, felt back to normal. It was focused on driving innovation, being competitive and minimizing risk.

Cloud, data, and security were consistent themes throughout. Organizations like Prime Therapeutics, Be the Match, Land O’Lakes and Xcel Energy discussed the importance of leveraging data to improve operability, drive efficiencies and provide a better customer experience.

Sue Stewart, vice president of IT application development, and the team from Prime Therapeutics shared how they are developing and advancing products to fulfill their mission of providing an effortless experience for people to get the medicines they need to feel better and live well.  Tools that better bridge the administrator, member and provider journey by giving prior authorization, checking benefits in real time, and sharing the cost and where to buy medicines. Speed and quality care at the forefront of their initiatives.   

The Focus on Data

Data can provide organizations the insights needed to work more efficiently, improve experiences and better direct future decisions. But data by itself isn’t enough. As Kristina Bloomquist, senior director of innovation at Be the Match shared, big data does not equal smart data. If data isn’t providing actionable insights then it’s not providing value. They adopted FAIR principles to leverage research to help save lives.

F = Findable
A = Accessible
I = Interoperable
R = Reusable

Organizations know how impactful data can be to the future of a business. Still the increase in the volume of data and processing needs poses a significant challenge for some (likely most) organizations. According to CIO Dive, 1 in 5 data professionals say that the infrastructure and systems are not in place to scale.

One company that discussed their learnings around scaling was Land O’Lakes’ Sustainability Business Unit, TruTerra. The TruTerra Insights Engine focused on leveraging data to scale and improve outcomes for farmers to boost their profitability & stewardship while meeting sustainability demands from the value chain.

The Skills Gap

The need for different skillsets and what organizations are doing to combat the skills gap – especially related to the cloud – was another reoccurring theme.

According to A Cloud Guru’s State of Cloud Learning report, 8 in 10 cloud leaders say lack of internal skills hinders successful cloud deployments. This is why, in addition to attracting new talent, organizations like Securian Financial have focused on retraining and upskilling.  As Rob Kehr, director of infrastructure services, enterprise technology shared, Securian Financial has focused on certifications and upskilling existing employees to support their migration to the cloud.

During the pandemic, the demand for skills grew as most companies turned to the cloud to uphold operations. According to Indeed’s 2021 job data, the demand to hire cloud experts has reached an unprecedented rate. Click here to view the 10 most in-demand cloud computing jobs.

With the lack of professionals skilled in cloud and security strategies organizations must rethink their recruitment and retention strategies. Here are four strategies to consider:

  1. Upskill and/or certify existing employees with the aptitude and desire to grow.
  2. Work with your staffing partners to find qualified and proven talent.
  3. Not every candidate needs to be a gold medalist - be okay with a silver medalists or someone that has high potential.
  4. Consider what’s preventing you from winning talent – is it pay, location, certifications? Get creative and be flexible.

If you're struggling to fill a role, consider strategizing with a staffing partner like Paragon.  A good partner knows what's preventing you from attracting talent, can help you identify solutions and may even be willing to provide candidates necessary training and courses to meet specific qualifications.

Nick Patraw Paragon IT Professionals

Paragon recently helped one of our clients do just that! The client loved the candidate, but had some concerns regarding his experience in two areas. Paragon offered to provide access to training giving the client the confidence to make the hire! Do you have 15 minutes to connect? Click here to schedule time on my calendar.

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