UK IT skills shortage needs to be addressed, says Databarracks
UK organisations are distinctly lacking in cloud-specific competencies and training, according to the latest report from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider Databarracks. 43 per cent of UK IT professionals rate their current competence in cloud implementation and management as either poor or very poor, with only 7 per cent rating it as excellent, despite the fact that 64 per cent of organisations questioned are currently using at least one cloud based service.
The findings are part of Databarracks' annual Data Health Check report, which surveys over 400 IT professionals from UK-based organisations, on the changing ways in which technology is used by businesses today. As part of this year's report, greater focus was put on assessing the impact of cloud computing on the IT job market, as well as the competency and training of employees.
Despite the obvious lack of confidence in their cloud competency, 54 per cent of respondents have received no cloud training in the past 12 months and even more worrying is that 53 per cent have made no plans for training in 2014.
Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks, says this is an issue we need to address: "These results paint a worrying picture. The survey doesn't suggest an immediate threat to jobs as a direct result of cloud computing but as businesses continue to use more cloud services there is clearly a new skillset required to manage them.
"The myth that cloud services will eventually replace in-house IT teams is largely unfounded. What we can expect to see instead is a change in the shape of the job market. Our data shows a significant reduction in tape-based backup and continued growth in general cloud adoption, with minimal job losses. IT departments are evolving. In the past, the majority of their time was spent managing internal systems and a smaller portion was spent on using those systems to support the business. Cloud services allow IT teams to focus the majority of their time on using technology to best serve the business. To do this successfully, they still need to be firmly backed up by a strong workforce, with an appropriate set of skills and qualifications. Training in the more commonly used cloud platforms such as VMware's vCloud and Amazon Web Services will serve particularly useful in the current market."
Groucutt concludes that these results should act as a warning sign, and need to be addressed in order for organisations to use cloud services successfully in the long term:
"Cloud services have evolved rapidly over the past decade, and their adoption is likely to continue to grow. Our report suggests that the number of organisations who have adopted at least one cloud-based service has risen to 64 per cent in the last 12 months. There is no reason cloud computing should be something for the IT department to fear, but employees must ensure that they remain relevant in today's changing market by gaining the appropriate skills and qualifications."
Databarracks provides secure, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Backup-as-a-Service and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service from UK-based, ex-military data centres.
Databarracks is certified by the Cloud Industry Forum, ISO 27001 certified for Information Security and has been selected as a provider to the G-Cloud framework. For more information, please see:www.databarracks.com
Nick Bird or Andrew Chatterton
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 207 388 9988