Most IT Bosses View Skills Gap As ‘Urgent Concern’

New research from Cloudreach, an Atos company, has provided an insight into the difficulties being faced by IT departments over the ongoing digital skills gap.

With more and more organisations increasing their reliance on the cloud, the talent crisis is having a profound impact on the ability of organisations to transform their operations.

The skills gap issue has been an ongoing concern for years now. Last year the think tank the Learning and Work Institute warned of a potentially “catastrophic” digital skills shortage, caused by falling numbers of young people seeking IT careers.

New Challenges, New Skills

Skills gap

And other data has shown that the United Kingdom has slipped down in the global rankings for technology and data skills proficiency.

Into this comes the Cloudreach research carried out by IDC, which collected data from 610 IT business leaders in North America and Europe at large enterprises across a wide range of industries.

It found that more than 70 percent of surveyed IT leaders internationally saw the skills gap as an urgent concern.

More than half of respondents claimed it either slowed them down (46 percent) or posed an existential crisis to the company (9 percent).

These are important statistics as more organisations rush to adopt cloud technology to improve efficiency and sustainability. It also highlights how how the industry needs more skilled professionals than ever to maintain operations.

Indeed, the Cloudreach data found that business leaders are finding that their cloud transformation initiatives are increasingly hampered by a lack of skilled professionals, with 34 percent of respondents explaining that the shortage has reduced their ability to operate and launch services.

Low supply of cloud skills is also hitting innovation, causing high staff turnover and wage inflation, the report found.

Needed skills

The data showed that multi-cloud capabilities, cloud system development, and cloud governance were the top three areas most impacted by the skills gap, according to respondents.

“This research confirms that there is a shortage of cloud talent today, threatening cloud transformation projects that are essential to business survival,” said Brooks Borcherding, CEO, Cloudreach.

“Talented architects and engineers are vital to delivering on the promise of cloud for businesses, and the opportunities are huge for their careers,” said Borcherding. “This skills gap poses a challenge for organisations to find new ways of recruiting, hiring and upskilling talent; including removing barriers of entry that have historically limited diversity within the industry.”

“Businesses recognise the importance of cloud infrastructure to help them grow and become more effective, and this study confirms the demand for cloud services continues to grow,” added Vittorio Sanvito, director of EMEA Partner Development at AWS.

“That is why we are working so hard to help close the skills gap in EMEA and worldwide with our partners like Cloudreach and Atos,” said Sanvito. “AWS has also made a commitment to help 29 million people around the world grow their tech skills with free cloud computing training by 2025.”

It should be remembered that the skills gap is not just an issue for the UK, but is consistent across cloud organisations in both North America and Europe.

Carbon emissions

The Cloudreach study also revealed other trends in cloud technology, including the essential role it can play in business operations, especially in a post Covid world.

The research found that 48 percent of respondents are now engaged in business transformation through cloud adoption.

And it revealed that 71 percent of respondents see cloud strategy as the biggest driver of sustainability today, with this percentage rising to 85 percent in 2023.

“This study shows that cloud is crucial to achieve carbon emissions targets,” concluded Carla Arend, senior program director and lead analyst, Cloud in Europe at IDC.

“Enterprises consume less energy and reduce their environmental footprint when migrating to a cloud environment,” said Arend. “To be impactful, sustainability practices need to be embedded in the enterprise business processes. These go beyond tracking CO2 emissions or utilities consumption but look for greener practices across the entire asset lifecycle.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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