Two-thirds of businesses losing money over poor cloud skills

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Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals think that a lack of cloud knowledge is holding their business back.

According to a new report by the London School of Economics and Rackspace, the lack of cloud space skills is affecting businesses and innovation.

The study, consisting of 950 IT decision makers and 950 IT pros, found that 64% of IT decision makers attribute the loss of revenue to the lack of cloud skills. The study estimated the total of lost revenue within UK organisations to be around £217,864,804 a year, making it clear that changes need to be made within cloud technology.

In addition to the loss of revenue, the study found cloud knowledge contributing to a lack of innovation. In fact, 67% of IT pros believe that a greater knowledge of cloud technology could help organisations by increasing innovation and creativity.

Assistant professor of information systems at LSE, Will Venters, said that cloud technology has revealed numerous amounts of innovation and development opportunities for companies, but claims that organisations need to have both the knowledge and a strategy “to ensure they are constantly evolving their IT workforce and training procedures in parallel with the constantly evolving demands of cloud.”

Almost half of IT decision-makers in the UK already attribute positive ROI to the cloud and more believe the cloud will increase positive ROI in the future. With 85% of IT pros saying that deeper cloud expertise within their organisation would help increase the cloud’s ROI, it is no wonder why companies are looking to fully utilise it. Unfortunately, companies are finding the implementation of cloud technology difficult, largely due to the workforce.

Over half (56%) of IT decision makers claimed the skills required to help manage their organisation’s clouds are difficult to recruit. Competition for talent, the inability to offer competitive salaries, insufficient career progression and the lack of training also create difficulties in improving a company's cloud management.

Despite the difficulties of acquiring talent, 64% still believe that in order to meet challenges of cloud computing, more investments need to be made in their workforce. Additionally, within 5 years, 72% of IT decision makers plan to increase cloud usage, making it clear that companies need to get creative when recruiting workers and expanding their cloud knowledge.

Lee James, chief technology officer at Rackspace EMEA, said that with the cloud now underpinning business transformation, "the growing technology skills gap means organisations must have a strategy to access the expertise needed. Those that don’t will struggle to be competitive and innovative.”