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Friday, 19 June 2015 12:20

A shortage in IT skills is holding back cloud

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New IDC survey shows how companies may be falling short in their cloud transformation journey through a shortage in IT and business cloud skills

The CloudView survey from analysts IDC shows many businesses are missing out on opportunities in cloud adoption and identifies key strategic issues and business processes to address the gaps.

The IDC study finds that many companies are naïve about how mature their cloud strategy really is. A key reason is the significant shortage in necessary IT skills and strategic approach, and the business-process change required to get to the next level. Implementing measures for collaborative business and IT governance, establishing consistent processes to identify which applications can best benefit from cloud and targeted education and training will help close these gaps.

The survey showed that while nearly 90% of respondents have a “strong desire” for building a hybrid cloud organisation in the next 2 years, there exists a 50% skills gap for most organisations to achieve their goals where just:

  • 38% have adequate knowledge of cloud best practices
  • 35% have IT staff skills to use cloud automation
  • 34% have implemented a unified service catalogue
  • 32% have user self-service provisioning
  • 18% cannot foresee when they will have consistent service-level monitoring across hybrid clouds

The study further finds that a cloud strategy is considered mature not only when a consistent enterprise-wide approach to cloud is driving business innovation, but specifically when the lines of business are involved up front in the process. Put simply, a collaborative approach between IT and the business, centred on the needs of the customer, is the single most important element of a mature cloud strategy.

According to IDC cloud maturity is reached in an organisation’s cloud transformation when it starts to reap real business benefits that go beyond IT efficiencies or TCO considerations. This includes developing net-new sources of revenue; engaging more deeply across employees, partners and customers; and using a more strategic and collaborative approach to IT that drives new value and greater competitive advantage.

IDC finds that organisations that have a balanced use of cloud – the best mix of external sourcing and internal transformation – are those where business units have the freedom, flexibility and agility to respond quicker to customer needs to drive revenue. Which includes having the IT organisation right there with them as strategic enabler.


Robert Mahowald, Program Vice President for SaaS and Cloud Services at IDC claims businesses have managed the first phase of moving into the cloud where they have educated themselves and sourced new capabilities necessary to begin the journey. However they’re failing to go to the next stage.  “The stumbling blocks are now at the managed and optimized level, with skill sets required that will allow the organisation to focus on strategy versus day-to-day operations in faster time to provision new services, in reduced IT costs and perhaps, most importantly, in the ability to make more revenue.” He said.

The survey sponsors SAP warn that IT runs a very real risk by not pulling in their business counterparts in their up-front cloud strategy.  Rob Glickman, Vice President, SAP Cloud and Line of Business Marketing said “Business units must partner with IT as their strategic arm to help them serve their customer and win – if not, business units typically go rogue and create unwieldy silos of chaos that destroy customer value over time.”

The full copy of the IDC InfoBrief "Realizing Business Benefits with a Cloud-Centric Organization" is available here.

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