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Global IT leaders grapple with cloud transformation talent shortages

by Reporter
18 May 2022 | 1 minute read

Rackspace Technology data has revealed that organisations are exploring more sophisticated cloud technologies but are hampered by skill shortages.

The end-to-end, multi-cloud technology solutions company’s Multicloud Annual Research Report 2022 has found that organisations are becoming more comfortable with more sophisticated “Cloud 2.0” technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.

According to the survey of 1,420 global IT leaders across industries, though cloud development continues to be a top priority for organisations, such that 56 per cent do not envision owning a data centre in five years, a resounding 77 per cent of IT decision-makers said that a scarcity of talent is inhibiting the adoption of new cloud development methods.

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The survey also finds organisations cloud priorities evolving, from basics” such as agility (30 per cent) and scalability (26 per cent) toward more sophisticated issues such as security (46 per cent) and compliance (36 per cent). Moreover, an increased appetite for risk among IT professionals can be seen in their enthusiasm for exploring edge technologies (38 per cent) and containers (53 per cent), while over half plan to invest in hyperscale providers.

The cloud is no longer a shiny new object – it is a nearly universally accepted technology according to Jeff DeVerter, chief technology evangelist at Rackspace Technology, who notes that there is almost no organisation that is not currently in the process of transforming itself via the cloud.

“At the same time, there are a number of barriers standing in the way of that transformation, most notably a dearth of IT talent.

“More than ever, organisations will need to rely on external expertise to achieve their cloud goals, as they continue to shed legacy infrastructure and ask the cloud to do more,” DeVerter said.

IT Talent is hard to find – and keep

ISCOVER

The survey underscores a growing talent dilemma for IT leaders, with more than half (53 per cent) of all respondents citing talent shortages as major business challenge, well ahead of concerns such as inflation (48 per cent), product shortages (36 per cent) and wage growth (25 per cent). 

Companies are employing a variety of tactics to attract new IT talent, including promoting opportunities for training and development (40 per cent), increasing starting salaries and offering hybrid/flexible/work-from-home schedules (32 per cent). Twenty-one per cent are being even more aggressive, luring talent with large starting salaries or increases, while 18 per cent are offering signing bonuses and 13 per cent are using sign-on retention agreements.

The cloud is here to stay – and it’s growing

According to the survey, the majority of respondents are on multi-cloud, with majorities saying they are using either AWS, Azure and/or Google Cloud. In addition, 70 per cent are already finding new uses for single tenant and/or private cloud infrastructure, while over half (54 per cent) said they plan to run serverless applications. About 31 per cent say their applications currently run on serverless technology, including functions such as automating workflows, scaling IoT apps, enabling virtual assistants/chatbots, and running SaaS functions.

DeVerter further explains that there has been an evolution in the cloud discussion, away from some of the table stake topics such as agility and scalability, and toward more sophisticated uses of cloud, such as containers and edge, which is shaping the future”.

“Not only are people excited to close their data centres. They are also more apt to take on more risk than they had been in the recent past,” DeVerter said.

Participants on how cloud is aiding innovation:

  • 49 per cent say it is improving customer experience and ease of use
  • 44 per cent say is enabling faster testing and deployment of new products and services
  • 37 per cent say it is providing limitless compute and storage
  • 35 per cent say it is expanding their range of products/services
  • 33 per cent say it provides the ability to scale up and down on demand
  • Security driving need for outside expertise

Survey respondents cited security as the most important factor to consider when choosing a cloud environment (46 per cent), ahead of compliance (36 per cent), flexibility/agility (30 per cent) and scalability (26 per cent). Security is also the leading reason companies use external partners. In addition, more than half of respondents (52 per cent) cite security as their biggest barrier to using serverless.

DeVerter explains that taken together, the data points on talent and security, telling an interesting story.

“Nearly 85 per cent of our survey respondents either have or will have applications running on serverless as they look to accelerate their cloud transformation efforts.

“At the same time, they face a severe internal skills shortage that is preventing them from being more aggressive without tapping external partners,” DeVerter concluded.

The survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes in April 2022 and targeted 1,420 senior IT decision-makers across multiple key sectors in the USA, LATAM, EMEA, and APAC.

 

[Related: Election interference scheme reportedly associated with Nauru Police email hack]

Global IT leaders grapple with cloud transformation talent shortages
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