Organisations losing revenue due to lack of cloud expertise, Rackspace warns

Two in three UK IT decision makers polled in a new study say their organisation is losing out on revenue as they lack specific cloud expertise.

The report, put together by Rackspace and the London School of Economics, polled 950 IT decision makers and 950 IT pros and found 67% of the latter believed they could bring greater innovation to their organisation with the ‘right cloud insight’. 85% said greater expertise within their organisation would help them recoup the return on their cloud investment.

Almost half (46%) of IT decision makers say they find it hard to recruit the best talent to manage their organisation’s clouds, with migration project management, native cloud app development, and cloud security among the skills companies are struggling with to hire. Similarly, competition for talent, an inability to offer competitive salaries, and difficulties in providing sufficient career progression and training were also cited as barriers to recruitment.

With this in mind, almost three quarters (72%) of respondents said they were looking to increase their firm’s cloud usage in the coming five years. The research evidently denotes a friction point; 84% of IT decision makers said it took ‘a number of weeks or more’ to train new hires, with 37% opting for ‘months’.

Will Venters, assistant professor of information systems at LSE, said cloud technology had been a ‘victim of its own success’. “As the technology has become ubiquitous among large organisations – and helped them to wrestle back control of sprawling physical IT estates – it has also opened up a huge number of development and innovation opportunities.

“However, to fully realise these opportunities, organisations need to not only have the right expertise in place now, but also have a cloud skills development strategy to ensure they are constantly evolving their IT workforce and training procedures in parallel with the constantly evolving demands of cloud.

“Failure to do so will severely impede the future aspirations of businesses in an increasingly competitive digital market.”

According to Firebrand Training, an IT training and project management course provider, the top five cloud skills organisations – and employees – need to get on board for this year include database and big data, application security, and containers.

The Rackspace research polled executives from the UK, US, Germany, Benelux, Switzerland, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.