Only 14 percent of mid-sized to large organizations in the U.K. believe it will be more difficult to recruit employees with cloud skills two years from now, despite evidence that the skills gap is widening, according to the Microsoft Cloud Skills Report: Closing the Cloud Skills Chasm. It shows that 57 percent of technical leaders consider cloud skills critical or very critical to their company’s digital transformation, and another 26 percent consider it important.
The report, released this week, is based on the results of a survey of 250 organizations in the U.K., and showed the cloud skills gap in the U.K. increasing for the fifth consecutive year. Despite this consistent increase, 48 percent of those surveyed expect it will be easier in the near future to recruit people with the needed cloud skills, and 30 percent think the difficulty will be about the same.
Microsoft and competitors including AWS have introduced training courses and other educational programs to help address the cloud skills shortage, which has persisted since the early stages of cloud adoption.
Companies are responding to the increased demand for cloud skills in a variety of ways. Sixty percent are retraining staff, while 53 percent are using the skills of external partners, and others are recruiting new staff. Six percent said they have no need for additional cloud skills.
Among those attempting to recruit employees with cloud skills in the past 12 months, 38 percent reported difficulty finding the right skills among applicants. When recruiting, 45 percent consider cloud skills to be “nice to have,” while 35 percent consider them “highly desirable” or essential.
When selecting partners, formal cloud certifications are important to 63 percent or organizations, and 48 percent said they would pay more for resources with cloud certifications for important cloud projects.
Despite the fact that four out of five technical IT staff members are male, over half of respondents say their organization either has no plan in place to address the disparity (35 percent), or they do not know what the plan is (23 percent).