WATCH: Cloud experts break down the 2022 State of Cloud report with their insights and discuss strategies for cloud adoption, skill development, and cloud security.
75% of leaders are building new products and features in the cloud, but only 8% of technologists have extensive experience working with cloud-related tools
64% of learners are new to the cloud and looking for basic training
62% of leaders implement the latest technologies as soon as they’re available
Employees are 94% more likely to stay with a company that invests in their skill development
71% of learners prefer daily or weekly learning opportunities, and 64% prefer learning by doing with hands-on tools like labs and sandboxes
Leaders definitely have their heads in the cloud. 75% of leaders want to default to cloud on all new projects and initiatives moving forward. So much so that Gartner estimates public cloud spend to reach $600 billion in 2023—a 21% increase from 2022 projections.
It looks like stormy weather is on the horizon, though. Leaders have grand ideas for their 2023 cloud strategies, but don't have the talent to meet the demand. Only 8% of technologists say they have extensive experience working with cloud-related tools. While 64% say they’re looking for basic training. Which would explain why half of enterprise IT organizations’ cloud migrations are delayed.
In all our data, our experts identified three challenges cloud leaders face when designing and implementing cloud strategies:
1. Mind the skills gap
To no surprise, the first challenge our experts found was a lack of qualified talent. 62% of leaders want to implement new technologies as soon as they’re available. But that leaves little to no time for cloud teams to understand the ins and outs before these leaders want it done.
The surprise came when our experts saw that 64% of learners say they’re new to the cloud and looking for basic training. A number that high isn’t a skills gap to our experts, it’s a chasm that leaders needed a solution to cross yesterday. Especially since it takes, on average, 3-6 months longer to develop cloud skills than it does other technology skills. But there’s a ray of light in this storm: learners want the opportunity to build their cloud skills if given the opportunity.
2. Cloud strategies are only as good as your security practices
When 40% of leaders and learners agree that security is the top skills gap, we have a serious problem. That is, unless you want to see your organization’s name splashed across the headlines. Cloud computing is the future. That much is clear. But to provide consumers with reliable solutions, we have to prioritize security.
Security was the number one obstacle preventing organizations from achieving cloud maturity. However, 50% of technologists believe improving their cloud skills helps them identify issues and vulnerabilities faster. Meaning less risk and fewer obstacles.
3. It takes time and money to upskill cloud talent
Technologists want to develop their skills. In fact, 71% of respondents said they prefer weekly or daily learning opportunities. But the two biggest obstacles to that development are budget constraints and time. While organizations will take an initial hit after launching their cloud upskilling program, the ROI shows up in faster implementations and better security. Leaders just need to give their teams the opportunity to grow. Their teams will take it and run.
Cloud computing offers many benefits to organizations, but it doesn’t operate the same as a traditional, on-premise system. Leaders need to reframe the way they think about the cloud from building strategies to finding talent.
From tactical to strategic thinking
Right now, too many cloud leaders can’t see the forest for the trees. They’re so busy focusing on the minutiae of the tactical application that they forget about the strategic intent. It’s apparent in OKRs and upskilling practices. Leaders who focus on strategic intent do one thing differently: they prepare their teams for the future.
These leaders understand cloud services are changing rapidly. They’re hiring talent for projects two years out, instead of for the ones right in their faces. Because they’re focused on strategic intent, they build teams that can adapt to the changing cloud landscape and learn as they go. And it's these teams who will succeed.
From consumers to creators of talent
Leaders can’t hire their way out of the skills gap. Instead, they have to create the talent they need. Eventually, the technology we’re working with now will seem archaic. Without a team that’s adaptable to that change and willing to learn new skills, you’re dead in the water.
Leaders who create talent look for continuous learners in their technical and non-technical roles. They’re looking for someone who has drive and an ability to learn. Right now, we use certifications and years in the industry as an indicator of success in our interview processes. We should be asking how they learn and apply new information. It’s these candidates—the ones you can mold—who will drive long-term success for your organization.
The data in the 2022 State of Cloud report was collected by blind-surveying 1,000 leaders and technologists across industries and throughout the world to get a clear picture of the present state of cloud computing and the expectations for the future.
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