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UK suffering cloud skills shortage

UK companies are feverishly searching for cloud expertise as a shortage of staff with relevant skill sets is causing a reduction in productivity when it comes to the cloud.

Databarracks, an infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] provider, surveyed 400 IT professionals as part of its annual Data Health Check and found that 43 per cent of UK IT professionals think their current competence in cloud implementation and management is either poor or very poor.

This was compared to just seven per cent rating competence as excellent and it makes grim reading as at least 64 per cent of those surveyed use at least one cloud-based service

"These results paint a worrying picture. The survey doesn't suggest an immediate threat to jobs as a direct result of cloud computing but as businesses continue to use more cloud services there is clearly a new skill set required to manage them. The myth that cloud services will eventually replace in-house IT teams is largely unfounded. What we can expect to see instead is a change in the shape of the job market,” said Peter Groucutt, MD at Databarracks.

The reason for the gap in skills can also be put down to the fact that 54 per cent of those surveyed had received no cloud training in the preceding 12 months and almost the same number [53 per cent] had no plans for training in 2014.

"Cloud services have evolved rapidly over the past decade, and their adoption is likely to continue to grow. There is no reason cloud computing should be something for the IT department to fear, but employees must ensure that they remain relevant in today's changing market by gaining the appropriate skills and qualifications,” Groucutt added.

The company added that training in the most commonly used platforms, such as Amazon Web Services and VMware’s vCloud, will be “particularly useful” in the current marketplace.