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Businesses struggle to hire workers with cloud skills

Sarah K. White | July 11, 2016
As enterprises continue to focus on implementing a cloud infrastructure, many still face roadblocks when it comes to hiring candidates with the right skills.

Overall lack of resources, especially a lack of qualified talent, has led to some businesses struggling to create cloud strategies. Of those surveyed, 52 percent said their business lacked a “formalized cloud strategy entirely,” while 39 percent of that same group says they have no formal strategy but are piloting programs; 13 percent said they had no strategy at all.

Missing skills slow down businesses

The study found that although 67 percent of respondents say they’ve hired full-time employees for cloud initiatives,53 percent also say they feel they struggle to hire people with the right skills. And 34 percent say they have experienced “a cloud failure caused by their staff’s actions.”

“Businesses are in a tricky situation, because it is very difficult to hire for these skills, and training only gets you the theoretical knowledge – not the practical experience,” says McQueen.

Tayengco also points out that part of the skills shortage is also due to the growing sophistication of cloud technology, which has left businesses struggling to find a way to bridge the divide between departments. They need workers who are not only highly skilled when it comes to the cloud, but who can also understand how to adopt it across multiple departments, which also requires – at the very least – a high-level understanding of the business structure.

“We see engineers who work in relatively siloed environments and do not necessarily have the larger business context of what a specific department, product or line of business was trying to achieve. Making a transition to cross-functional teams on business-critical projects, puts engineers in the nexus of business and IT in a very different capacity,” she says.

As cloud infrastructure becomes more strategic, businesses want to make sure they’re using the technology as well as possible across the entire business, but it can be hard to find someone who not only has these skills, but who also understands how it touches every department. And that’s important, because the end goal of cloud adoption isn’t just about getting onto the cloud, she says, but rather it’s about hiring people who can get you to that point, and then continue to improve on the infrastructure and flexibility of the technology.

Start with a strategy

For businesses looking at how to fix their cloud initiatives – or get started with one – the answer might be as simple as creating a strategy to follow. The study divided results between IT leader respondents who say their business has a clear cloud strategy and those who said they didn’t. .

For the IT leaders with a firm strategy, only 52 percent said they had exceeded their cloud budget, while 70 percent of IT leaders without a strategy went over budget. Similarly, the group with a strategy in place reported experiencing fewer cloud failures as a result of staff; 22 percent compared to the “no strategy” groups’ 58 percent. The same goes for sourcing talent; only 41 percent of IT leaders with a formal cloud strategy said it was difficult to find candidates with the right sills, while 75 percent of IT leaders without a cloud strategy said the same.


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