The Cloud Skills gulf and the problems addressing it

By Simon Rutt
CIF Programmes Director

Lack of Cloud Skills is certainly a problem for the modern business, but how about related cloud business skills and knowledge?

Finding people with right cloud skills to facilitate digital transformation is not an easy process as a recent report from Microsoft echoes. The report, entitled “Microsoft Cloud Skills Report: Closing the Cloud Skills Chasm”, says 83 per cent of UK’s organisations consider cloud skills ‘important’ or ‘critical’ to digital transformation.

Many organisations are struggling to hire or skill up their teams with cloud expertise to meet the growing demands from their organisation to modernise.

The big public cloud providers and some independent training organisations are trying to address this with their own versions of ‘What matters in cloud adoption’ training courses. Much of this is good and well worthwhile if you have IT professionals who are looking to skill up with a particular platform or solution.

However, one of the issues arising from this, is that these programmes are obviously biased towards a specific platform or set of technologies. These focused and mainly technical courses are also potentially missing an emphasis on the commercial, business, project and legal aspects of cloud adoption. In fact, very often project teams consist of non-technical, (or non-primary architects), that are responsible for selecting service providers, adhering to GRC policies, negotiating and reviewing contracts, assessing how service management is going to be affected, etc, etc.

Often professionals from the procurement departments or legal / commercial departments will need to be involved but they also need to understand the particular nuances and special risks and opportunities that the cloud can bring.

The need for a more generic, independent and business focused approach to cloud training is what prompted the Cloud Industry Forum to develop their online training courses and cloud certifications. These are available as part of their professional membership programme.

More and more organisations are recognising the need for a wider range of professionals to be involved in a cloud enabled IT moderisation project. They also recognise the risks associated with up skilling their teams with a narrow focus on a particular provider’s platform or technology set. Limiting cloud skills training in this way just increases the risk of vendor ‘lock in’ – one of the issues sited in CIF’s most recent ‘State of the Market – 2017 Cloud Adoption Trends Report”.

For more information on the Cloud Industry Forum

For more information on CIF’s Online cloud training and certifications

For more information on CIF’s Professional Membership programme

The Microsoft Cloud Skills Report