Cloud computing skills gap is widening, warns IDC

Archana Venkatraman| Computerweekly

About 1.7 million cloud computing-related job roles globally could not be filled in 2012 because applicants lacked training, certification and experience needed to work in a cloud-enabled world, according to a study by IDC.

The demand for cloud-savvy IT professionals will grow by 26% annually until 2015 creating as many as seven million cloud-related vacancies worldwide, predicted IDC in its white paper titled “Climate Change: Cloud’s Impact on IT Organisations and Staffing”.

The research firm warned that there is an urgent need to retrain existing IT professionals and encourage students to pursue cloud-related IT trainings and certifications.

“Cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013, but with this increase comes the harsh reality that IT pros around the world are steps behind when it comes to attaining the skills necessary to thrive in the cloud computing industry,” said Cushing Anderson at IDC.

The skills gap comes at a time when almost two-thirds of global enterprises are planning, implementing or using cloud computing, and more than 50% of businesses agree that cloud computing is a high priority.

 “Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing,” added Anderson.

Therefore, training and certification is essential for preparing prospective job candidates to work in cloud-related jobs, said Anderson .

In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the research firm forecast that cloud-related IT jobs will grow by 24% per year to about 1.4 million by 2015. But in Asia Pacific region, it predicted larger growth – 32% per year – resulting in more than 2.3 million cloud-related jobs by the end of 2015.

The white paper from November 2012 was sponsored by Microsoft and surveyed more than 600 hiring managers across the globe.

Lack of cloud-ready workers a big challenge

The shortage of “cloud-ready” IT professionals is the number one challenge for companies looking to bolster their cloud capabilities, according to the research.

“Cloud computing is crucial to the bottom line of the company as it creates cost savings and efficiencies for companies and their customers,” said Anderson. “Therefore, a cloud-savvy workforce is essential to the success of the IT industry’s financial health.”

The research firm also forecast that the overall number of IT positions in end-user organisations globally will grow at a 4.3% compound annual growth rate in the next three years to reach 29.3 million in 2015.


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