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Skills shortages are preventing organizations from taking advantage of cloud 2.0

by Helen J. Wolf
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Rackspace Technology has announced the Multicloud Annual Research Report 2022, showing that organizations are increasingly comfortable with more advanced “cloud 2.0” technologies, even when hiring and retaining IT talent is difficult.

According to a survey of 1,420 global IT leaders across industries, while cloud development remains a top priority for organizations, and 56% don’t think they will own a data center in five years, a staggering 77% of IT decision-makers said a lack of talent is a barrier the adoption of new cloud development methods.

The research also shows that organizations’ cloud priorities are evolving from “basics” such as agility (30%) and scalability (26%) to more advanced issues such as security (46%) and compliance (36%).

Skills shortages are preventing organizations from taking advantage of cloud 2.0

In addition, the increased risk appetite among IT professionals is reflected in their enthusiasm for exploring edge technologies (38%) and containers (53%), while more than half plan to invest in hyperscale providers.

Jeff DeVerter, Rackspace Technology’s chief technology evangelist, said, “The cloud is no longer a shiny new object — it’s an almost universally accepted technology, and there’s virtually no organization right now that isn’t transforming itself through the cloud.

“Simultaneously, several barriers stand in the way of that transformation, most notably a lack of IT talent. More than ever, organizations must rely on outside expertise to achieve their cloud goals as they continue to divest legacy infrastructure and ask the cloud to do more.”

According to the researchers, the survey highlights a growing talent dilemma for IT leaders, with more than half (53%) of all respondents citing talent shortages as a major business challenge, well ahead of concerns such as inflation (48%), product shortages (36% ) and wage growth (25%).

Companies employ a variety of tactics to attract new IT talent, including promoting training and development opportunities (40%), increasing entry-level salaries, and offering hybrid/flexible/work-from-home schedules (32%).

Overall, 21% are even more aggressive, attracting talent with high starting-salaries or raises, 18% offer signing bonuses, and 13% use sign-up retention agreements.

DeVerter says, “We’ve seen an evolution in the cloud discussion away from some key topics like agility and scalability, and toward more advanced uses of the cloud, like containers and edge, that are shaping the future.

“Not only are people excited to close their data centers. They are also more likely to take more risk than in the past.”

According to the survey, most respondents are multicolored, with the majority saying they use AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

In addition, 70% are already finding new applications for single-tenant and private cloud infrastructure, while more than half (54%) plan to run serverless applications. 31% say their applications currently run on serverless technology, including functions such as automating workflows, scaling IoT apps, enabling virtual assistants/chatbots, and performing SaaS functions.

When asked how the cloud helps innovation:

49% say it improves customer experience and ease of use 44% say it allows faster testing and implementation of new products and services 37% say it offers unlimited computing and storage 35% say it expands their product/service offering 33 % say it provides the ability to scale up and down on demand

Survey respondents cited security as the most important factor to consider when choosing a cloud environment (46%), pre-compliance (36%), flexibility/agility (30%), and scalability (26%). Security is also the main reason why companies use external partners. In addition, more than half of respondents (52%) cite security as their biggest barrier to using serverless.

DeVerter added: “All in all, the talent and safety data points tell an interesting story. Nearly 85% of our survey respondents have or will use applications that are running serverless to accelerate their cloud transformation efforts.

“At the same time, they face a severe internal skills shortage that prevents them from being more aggressive without tapping into external partners.”

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