How Much Is the Cloud Skills Gap Costing You?

  • January 29, 2018 - by Synoptek
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Having your head in the cloud used to be a shortcoming, but in today’s cloud-dominated business environment, many are struggling to find skilled professionals with cloud expertise for their companies. According to an IBM article, the cloud skills shortage is becoming an increasing problem as “many organizations simply don’t ‘get’ cloud. This is likely because there is still a great shortage of skills in these technologies.” Technology is rapidly changing and the IT skills gap is widening, making it a particularly challenging problem many have yet to overcome.

Cloud users’ abilities to increase business agility and flexibility has led to skyrocketing adoption rates with 95% of organizations using the cloud in some capacity and 85% planning to use multiple clouds. By 2020, company “no cloud” polices will likely be as dated as “no internet” policies. With the promise of a robust, scalable, and cost-efficient solution, why would any company decision-maker hesitate to embrace the cloud?

The reality is problems are emerging because many have jumped into cloud without proper planning or the skills required to effectively manage their cloud environment. The cloud skills gap has become apparent in three key ways.

  1. Many are unable to accurately assess their environments.
  2. Many lack migration and project management experience.
  3. Many are unable to secure their data in the cloud.

And because the cloud itself changes and becomes more innovated at such a fast pace, company leaders and IT staff members alike are struggling to get ahead — and, in many cases, simply keep up.

Cloud skills gap implications

Not having the right cloud skill-sets on your team puts your company at a greater risk of data loss and non-compliance. According to ESG research, 33% of firms say they have a shortage of cloud security specialists. These specialists help prevent attacks related to: compromised credentials, hacked interfaces and APIs, exploited system vulnerabilities, account hijacking, malicious insiders, DDoS attacks, and shared technology risks. If your firm is using a Public Cloud provider, such as AWS or Azure, a team of cloud security specialists is required to configure and manage the shared security responsibilities.

Additionally, companies aren’t achieving the expected ROI they thought they would. For some, a mismanaged cloud environment has become a large and costly problem. According to a London School of Economics study, the cloud skills gap costs businesses more than $250 million annually. The reality is, when you consume something as a service without expert oversight, it’s easy to abuse it, like forgetting to turn off the light after you leave the room. The study also revealed half of IT executives felt a lack of cloud expertise was hindering organizational performance and nearly 85% recognized access to cloud skills would increase their ROI.

 Filling the gaps

What are the top cloud skills needed to help remedy this problem?

  • Database & Big Data – Big data systems – delivered through the cloud – are starting to tap into this potential resource and the sector is predicted to grow at a rate of 60% annually, report IDC.
  • Application Security – With only 2% of cloud applications ready for EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there’s a massive amount of work ahead for cloud security professionals.
  • Enterprise Cloud Migration – Businesses require cloud professionals with knowledge of their chosen cloud platform to oversee migration projects in an organized and secure way.
  • Containers – 81% of businesses suggested that they will increase use of containers in the near future, according to a survey from Robin Systems.
  • Enterprise Application Development – As more businesses launch public and private cloud initiatives, the importance of application development and testing in the cloud is increasing.

As this list illustrates, the cloud skills gap will likely continue to disrupt the pace of business innovation.

Navigating the Cloud 

High levels of cost and competition for specialized cloud skills combined with the need for new emerging skills have created an expensive and potentially detrimental skills gap. For those who cannot find and retain qualified personnel, partnering with a cloud management service provider is a promising solution to overcoming the cloud skills gap. According to a survey by CompTIA, 93% of firms that outsource some part of their IT operations to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) reported meeting or exceeding their cost-savings expectations. By 2020, IT teams will be smaller and will spend less time “keeping the lights on” and more time managing partners and providers. Complex IT environments of the future will require a multisourcing strategy that provides firms with access to a deeper bench of talent and resources at a more affordable price.

By partnering with an award-winning managed cloud services provider, your organization becomes better equipped to overcome gaps hindering your cloud efforts. Contact the experts at Synoptek to help you through strategic cloud planning, implementation, and on-going support. Call us today at 888-796-6783 or request to speak with an expert.

About the Author

Synoptek is an established firm that provides information systems consulting and IT management services. Synoptek and its predecessors have been providing these services for 23 years.