UK experiences fast-moving Cloud

The UK is experiencing a period of huge growth in the usage of Cloud technology and as more businesses adopt this technology, the competition is on for them to find the best IT talent.

Across the global industry, the influence of the Cloud is spreading beyond traditional IT teams and into sales, accounts and leadership teams who want to be more mobile, more scalable and store more data. For businesses, it’s about more than simply benefitting from these advantages but also about keeping up with the competition as more and more businesses take advantage of what the Cloud has to offer.

In the current market, Microsoft Azure is gaining traction but Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to lead in public cloud adoption. The power of AWS and automation of process is a massive driver to businesses adopting a DevOps way of working when it comes to creating apps and websites. With around 97 recognised consulting partners in the UK, the competition is growing and businesses are competing to find the best IT talent.

In the recent ‘State of the Cloud’ report by RightScale, lack of resource/expertise is recognised as the number one challenge in the industry. Andy Slater, Cloud Infrastructure & Operations Specialist, Networkers, is familiar with this problem in the UK jobs market: “The sudden growth of Cloud in the UK means that there isn’t a talent pipeline to fill the high level of jobs now in demand. The numbers of consultants, engineers and architects holding certification are growing but not fast enough.”

Aside from the Cloud sector, the UK IT industry is facing skills shortages at a much more general level. A recent report published by the UK’s Science and Technology Committee unveiled the full extent of the UK’s digital skills crisis, including the outstanding statistic that 12.6 million adults in the UK lack basic digital skills. With 90% of jobs now requiring digital skills, the digital skills gap is estimated to cost the UK economy £63bn in lost income and is impacting the commercial operations of a high number of businesses (93% of those surveyed believed the skills shortage was having an adverse effect on their business).

Clearly, implementing cloud services like AWS requires more than basic digital skills, as they are particularly difficult to set up. Employers are looking for but struggling to find individuals with backgrounds in large datacentre administration or from hosted datacentre backgrounds who have the experience to understand and utilise these services and the ability to learn how to implement them quickly.

On top of skills shortages, businesses using the Cloud also face challenges with security and information governance. Concerns about security are higher amongst those taking their first steps towards using the Cloud than those who are experienced Cloud uses, according to the RightScale report. For those who are more fearful of the security of the Cloud, they may find solace in the financial sector’s recent adoption of Cloud. 

As the Cloud market grows in the UK, employers need to secure crucial skills to enable them to fully embrace the Cloud and take advantage of the benefits it offers. But in the current climate, candidates have the upper hand, as Andy Slater explains:

“IT professionals with Cloud experience are highly sought after and are therefore able to dictate a cost for their time and demand the projects and clients they wish to work on and with.”

“To ensure they have the best chance of future-proofing their business and keeping up with the competition, employers should also look to up-skill their existing IT and development staff.”

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