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OpsRamp skills research highlights cloud hiring challenges of IT managers and CIOs

Research from IT operations platform provider OpsRamp shines a light on the difficulties IT managers face when trying to find staff to help make their digital transformation ambitions a reality

The IT industry is in the grip of a full-blown cloud skills crisis, a report claims, as enterprises struggle to source staff to support their digital transformation plans.

According to a report by IT operations platform provider OpsRamp, organisations are increasingly keen on updating their IT estates to become microservices-rich and cloud native, but progress on this front is being hampered by skills shortages.

“Sixty per cent of our survey respondents report that a majority of their mission-critical IT services are either built or run using cloud-native architectures,” said the From a cloud-native skills gap to a full-blown crisis report.

“With the increased adoption of hybrid cloud and software-defined infrastructures, enterprise IT teams will need the right talent that can deploy and maintain dynamic, flexible and cost-effective digital services.”

In the report, 124 IT managers working for companies with 500 or more employees were asked to share their experiences of staff recruitment, with 94% admitting to experiencing difficulties finding candidates with the right skills and experience to assist with their move to the cloud.

The same amount of respondents also claimed it can often take longer than a month to find suitable candidates, while 25% said they had experienced wait-times of three months or more.

To fill the gap, the report urges enterprises to invest in retraining programmes for their existing staff to ensure their digital transformation efforts can continue apace despite the dearth of tech talent out there.

“Given the robust competition for digital talent, organisations should invest in cloud-related training and certifications for current IT staff, instead of only relying on external talent to address their skills gaps,” the report said.

DevOps skills in short supply

Participants said they had run into particular difficulty when trying to source candidates with DevOps skills, multi-cloud management experience and an aptitude for cloud-native software development.

This, in turn, is having a knock-on effect on the ability of enterprises to innovate and drive revenue growth, OpsRamp said, prompting the firm to declare the IT industry to be in the midst of a bone fide “skills crisis”.

“The cloud skills gap has become a cloud skills crisis,” the report said. “The pressure to gain expertise and skills in cloud-native technologies has only increased over the last five years. DevOps, hybrid cloud and digitalisation positions are available but difficult to fill.”

As a result, 20% of the report’s participants claim to have seen a marked uptick in the number of skilled employees being poached by rival firms, with OpsRamp claiming the onus is now on CIOs to do everything they can to prevent their top talent from leaving for pastures new.

“To attract and retain IT pros, CIOs will need to provide challenging assignments, offer opportunities for learning and development and invest in a culture that recognises and rewards high performers,” the report states.

“Given that most enterprises workloads will migrate to the cloud, IT leaders need to make the right investments to enhance their digital DNA,” the report added.

“Smart talent acquisition strategies will include bringing in external expertise, training and development for existing staff and partnering with solution providers (to decide which skills you want to keep in-house versus the ones you would like to outsource).”

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