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September 21, 2017

Is cloud computing a victim of its own success?

Businesses are losing out on lots of money because they can't get the right skills into their organisations.

By James Nunns

UK businesses are suffering financially thanks to a lack of cloud computing expertise resulting in them losing out on revenue.

Cloud technology has swiftly become an integral part of many organisations and its benefits over traditional legacy systems have made it a key differentiator for businesses. However, according to 64% of UK IT decision makers, their organisation is missing out on revenue due to a lack of cloud expertise, with 67% saying they could bring greater innovation to their organisation with the right cloud insight.

That’s according to a report from Rackspace in collaboration with LSE academics and sponsored by Intel. The Cost of Cloud Expertise report also found that 46% believe that a lack of skills is causing a lag in their organisation’s ability to deploy cloud platforms, only 28% said it wasn’t a problem.

Most (64%) feel that more investment into the workforce is needed so that they can meet the development challenges that cloud computing poses. Rackspace

Lee James, chief technology officer at Rackspace EMEA, said: “While the rise of Artificial Intelligence and automation may cause some to think that human insight is less important, our report shows that this is not the case. With cloud computing now underpinning business transformation, the growing technology skills gap means organisations must have a strategy to access the expertise needed. Those that don’t will struggle to be competitive and innovative.”

According to the report, most (52%) acknowledge that a lack of expertise is holding their business back, with the average cost of revenue lost as a result predicted to be as much as £217,864,804 for large UK businesses a year.

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The benefits of cloud technologies are well documented and analyst projections for the market point to there being continuing demand, however, IT decision makers (46%) are still struggling to recruit the right talent to help them manage their clouds.

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Skills like migration project management (39%), native cloud app development (35%), and cloud security (34%), were found to be the hardest to recruit thanks to issues such as competition, competitive salaries, inability to provide sufficient career progression, and the inability to offer sufficient training.

Will Venters, assistant professor of information systems at LSE, said: “Put simply, cloud technology is a victim of its own success. As the technology has become ubiquitous among large organisations – 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 realise these opportunities, organisations 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.”

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