The cloud skills gap is digital transformation’s Achilles’ heel

98% of organizations globally are facing a cloud skills gap, specifically in trying to find people with general cloud skills, cloud architecture knowledge, and adapting, monitoring, and troubleshooting for the cloud, according to a report by SoftwareOne.

This is causing digital transformation projects to fall behind by an average of five months, with 33% of businesses claiming their financial objectives will take a significant hit as a result.

cloud skills gap

Enter the skills gap

Over the past four years, a rapid increase in cloud adoption has led to 94% of organizations utilizing at least one cloud provider, with the majority opting for hybrid or multi-cloud setups. Simultaneously, in under a year since generative AI became widely adopted, one-third of organizations have incorporated gen AI into one or more of their business functions. Nevertheless, the skillset necessary for implementing and overseeing these technologies has advanced at a different rate.

62% of respondents report possessing only half of the IT skills necessary to leverage AI innovation effectively. 41% say they need help to source employees with AI-specific knowledge. This skill deficit is limiting their capacity to capitalize on AI’s transformative potential.

95% of the IT decision-makers believe the cloud skills gap has negatively impacted their team, while almost 62% report increased workload in the last 12 months.

When looking at how the cloud skills gap had impacted the teams’ work, the survey found that vital areas were being missed. 43% of respondents noted their organizations have struggled to keep up to date with security, governance and compliance, 41% have had application performance issues and outages and 38% have missed KPIs on delivering new innovations to the business. One-third even said they had to restrict their use of the cloud altogether.

Cloud managed services’ impact

When looking to the future, the IT-decision makers were confident that the cloud skills gap within their organization would improve in the coming years, with 87% saying they believe it will get better in the next five years.

In the interim, the survey respondents view investing in cloud-managed services as the key to success. 93% of respondents agree that investing in cloud-managed services will be a priority in the next 12 months, with respondents claiming that investing in cloud-managed services could increase productivity globally by as much as 156%.

98% of respondents consider attracting tech talent as a top priority for their organizations in the coming year. Reskilling and retaining existing employees won’t be enough to plug the gap, which is why hiring in new skills is such a high priority.

“For companies who want to accelerate their digital transformation, closing the cloud skills gap is critical. We have seen our clients innovate faster through cloud and application mastery while reducing their risk profile,” stated Craig Thomson, SVP Cloud & Application Services, SoftwareOne.

“Our research into the cloud skills gap shows how much is at stake. The majority of organisations see cloud managed services as a crucial way to bridge the gap, with the option of scaling back these resources as they build their own internal capabilities for the future,” Thomson concluded.

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