Joe McKendrick | Forbes

Cloud computing may introduce new processes and technology challenges, but organizations appear to be ready to handle them, a new survey suggests. An overwhelming majority of IT executives, in fact, say they’re having no problems finding the skills they need to move forward with cloud engagements.  But will this confidence be sustainable as organizations move deeper into cloud?

This is one of the results of a new survey of 327 CIOs, business executives and other stakeholders, conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by Host Analytics. More than eight out of 10 CIOs (81%) and IT managers (81%) in the survey say they are “easily able to find employees or contractors” who  can help customize Software-as-a-Service applications.

This appears to validate the public cloud service vision of simply being able to subscribe to services as needed, leaving the nitty-gritty technical details to providers.  But I’m not sure how long the confidence expressed in this survey will be sustained. We are still in the early stages of cloud, and the challenges of moving large, core applications such as enterprise resource planning and financials to more virtualized or cloud settings are still ahead of us. The actual coding and underlying systems development work may be once-removed, but there will be a growing need for skilled people who can help address configurations, data models and process flows, as it all fits into the enterprise.

Those organizations adopting private cloud likely have trained and skilled IT departments that are overseeing the effort. The skills and staffing issues in these environments will likely be the same as they have been over the years, and not necessarily exacerbated or improved by the move to cloud.

IT executives also seem to have different motivations for engaging cloud than their business counterparts.  Business-side executives overwhelmingly agree that the purpose of moving to cloud computing is to realize greater value, the survey finds. However, IT executives say being better able to meet compliance requirements is the greatest advantage in cloud engagements. While value was the one priority for business executives (80%), it was less so for CIOs (53%), who were more inclined to see meeting compliance requirements (58%) as a good reason to go to cloud.


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