The usage of Cloud technology is spreading around the world and extending its reach beyond traditional IT teams and into the realms of sales, accounts and business leaders who want to be more mobile, more scalable, store more data and take advantage of the latest technology on offer in order to keep up with the competition.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The UK is now experiencing a period of huge cloud growth.” hashtags=”cloud, tech”]

Whilst the Cloud has established itself in the US, the UK has been slightly slower in embracing the technology but is now experiencing a period of huge growth. Microsoft Azure is gaining popularity but Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to lead in public cloud adoption. The popularity of AWS also has a large impact on DevOps – 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.

Due to the fast expansion of the cloud industry, businesses are facing the challenge of finding the skilled people to implement and maintain cloud services. In fact, lack of resource/expertise is recognised as the number one challenge in the industry, according to the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Competition is growing and businesses are competing to find the best IT talent.” hashtags=”cloud, tech”]

In the UK, the skills shortage is, in part, due to a slower adoption of this emerging technology, compared to the US who is leading in cloud services and is at the centre of Cloud’s global expansion. 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. Those who’ve built up hands on knowledge of the platform are engaged and enjoying the projects they are delivering and those companies are developing a pipeline of business on the back of that expertise.

The extent of the UK’s digital skills crisis is exemplified in a recent report published by the UK’s Science and Technology Committee. One of the main and most significant findings was that 12.6 million adults in the UK lack basic digital skills. With 90 percent of jobs now requiring digital skills, the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63bn in lost income and is having an adverse effect on businesses, with 93 percent saying that the skills gap is affecting their commercial operations.

Not only is there a lack of digital skills generally, there is also a deficit in the specific skills and knowledge needed to implement cloud services like AWS and the adoption of a DevOps way of working, which are particularly difficult to set up. Recruitment in these fields is incredibly fierce as businesses look for individuals with backgrounds in large data-centre administration or from hosted data-centre backgrounds who have the experience to understand and utilise these services and the ability to quickly learn how to implement them.

Another challenge which continues to prevail in the cloud industry is security and information governance. Interestingly but not surprisingly, security is more of a concern amongst those taking their first steps towards the cloud than it is amongst more experienced users, according to the aforementioned RightScale report. There are still stigmas to overcome but the financial sector’s recent adoption of cloud services is a large seal of approval for security in public cloud services.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Security is more of a concern amongst those taking their first steps towards the #cloud” hashtags=”tech”]

With the growing popularity of AWS and DevOps and the increasing awareness businesses across multiple industries have of Cloud benefits, employers need to up their game to secure the skills they need to fully embrace the Cloud. IT professionals with Cloud experience are highly sought after and have the upper hand in the employment game. These technically-skilled individuals are able to dictate a cost for their time and demand the projects and clients they wish to work on and with.

As well as seeking new talent to enhance their existing IT capabilities, businesses should also look to up-skill their IT and development staff to ensure they have the best chance of future-proofing their business. Find more at Networkers.