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Organizational skills gap threatens cloud users revenue

The report looks at the wider implications of the cloud skills gap and aims to provide a route for businesses to tackle the realities of modern IT and the resulting skills gap.

Jeff Rowe | Oct 02, 2017 12:00 am

Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of IT decision makers report that their organizations have lost revenue due to a lack of cloud expertise.

That’s according to a new report from Rackspace, a cloud services company, and the London School of Economics, which polled 950 IT decision makers and 950 IT pros.  Among other findings, 65 percent of the decision makers said they could bring greater innovation to their organization with the “right cloud insight”, while 85 percent said greater expertise within their organizations would help them recoup the return on their cloud investment.

Almost half (46%) of IT decision makers say they find it hard to recruit the best talent to manage their organization’s clouds, with migration project management, native cloud app development, and cloud security among the skills companies are struggling to find. Similarly, competition for talent, an inability to offer competitive salaries, and difficulties in providing sufficient career progression and training were also cited as barriers to recruitment.

At the same time, almost three quarters of respondents said they were looking to increase their firm’s cloud usage in the coming five years.

Will Venters, assistant professor of information systems at LSE, said cloud technology has been a “victim of its own success. As the technology has become ubiquitous among large organizations – and helped them to wrestle back control of sprawling physical IT estates – it has also opened up a huge number of development and innovation opportunities.

“However, to fully realize these opportunities, organizations need to not only have the right expertise in place now, but also have a cloud skills development strategy to ensure they are constantly evolving their IT workforce and training procedures in parallel with the constantly evolving demands of cloud.”

“Failure to do so will severely impede the future aspirations of businesses in an increasingly competitive digital market.”

As part of the report, Rackspace and LSE academics have provided advice on how organizations can navigate cloud expertise skills gaps in their business, with suggestions including splitting their company’s IT function into separate streams, Developing a cloud skills strategy, and adopting “an ecosystem approach to the provision of basic cloud services.”