Closing the cloud skills gap

A worldwide shortage of cloud skills is a continuing worry for enterprises, causing a severe roadblock to their digital transformation plans and moving to cloud native. Enterprises need to consider a long-term plan for upskilling, by drawing on partner expertise and establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence.

In a recent IDC survey, 90% of respondents pointed to the cloud as an essential technology for business survival and innovation. But more than 70% said they had a cloud skills gap in their organization, and the lack of talent is detrimental to their roadmaps.

The cloud skills shortage is primarily down to an accelerated wave of cloud migration triggered by the pandemic and the fast-expanding digital economy.

Skills drought is impacting business development

The ongoing skills drought is already proving detrimental to business development. According to IDC’s survey, over a third of enterprises said the situation is compounded by high staff churn and wage inflation, making it more difficult to meet customer orders and launch new products and services.

It is impossible for enterprises to hire their way out of the skills shortage. Therefore, enterprises must start offering training programs focused on cloud skills and upskill where they can fill the gap.

While retraining talent should be one of the critical objectives of enterprises right now, HR teams also need to look at hiring people with a diverse range of skills to grow the in-house talent pool. At the same time, enterprises need to choose the right cloud partners who can help them bridge the technology chasm short term.

Most enterprises want to be self-sufficient down the line when it comes to the cloud, but having a trusted cloud partner will facilitate knowledge transfer and critical cloud skill development.

Cloud education needs to be across the board

Cloud education must go from the top down, from senior executives to non-technical functions such as finance, procurement and product management. This says McKinsey will enable a great understanding of the implications of cloud and how it can deliver business outcomes as well as help departments see how cloud can help in terms of flexibility, scalability and agility. Upskilling programs for procurement teams, for example, could focus on how cloud pricing structures work and how to get the best from them.

Develop skills with a Cloud Center of Excellence

To ensure business and technology goals are aligned on a journey to secure and compliant cloud consumption, many enterprises are opting to set up a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). This multidisciplinary group is designed to optimize performance, costs and security but can also help with the skills shortage.

A CCoE framework can help to put a strategy in place for upskilling staff with the relevant cloud skills while ensuring software and security excellence across the organization.

The cloud skills gap is a reality that enterprises will have to deal with for the foreseeable future. Without cloud talent, the full benefits of cloud are unattainable. Enterprises need to make practical changes regarding cloud skills to grow and thrive in the digital economy.

To find out more, download our brochure: Are you building cloud skills for the future? And for further tips, you can also download our multicloud consultancy brochure to learn more about our extensive cloud services.

Nathaniel Suda
Nathaniel Suda

Nathaniel is the European cloud and data business consulting practice lead focused on business transformation, data analytics and cloud at Orange. He is a CEO/CIO digital transformation advisor and strategist with deep technical and organizational change experience including analytics, machine learning, data, cloud, and other digital technologies.