Cloud skills shortage impacting new projects

New research, including a survey of 1,300 companies commissioned by San Antonio, Tex.-based cloud provider Rackspace has found that more than half of organizations’ cloud deployments are being hampered by a shortage of cloud computing skills.

The research, conducted by Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne, found that two thirds (66 per cent) of companies surveyed are now looking to increase their IT skills to the levels required to manage cloud computing deployments. However, 56 per cent were not aware of any courses that enable IT professionals to up-skill for the cloud era.

The survey also revealed:

  • 42 per cent of organizations have had to hire IT professionals specifically for their cloud computing skills
  • 43 per cent of companies are finding it difficult to find IT professionals with cloud computing skills
  • 79 per cent reported that universities and colleges need to incorporate cloud IT skills into any relevant syllabuses they offer

To address these shortfalls in both skills and training, Rackspace Hosting is opening its own Open Cloud Academy and has already launched a pilot training program in this regard. The Open Cloud Academy is touted as an educational program designed to provide students with affordable IT certifications, specifically around open cloud technologies.

Rackspace, who recently launched a commercially-operated open cloud platform based on OpenStack, wants to tell the marketplace that its taking the cloud skills shortage seriously and has made measures to bridge the IT skills gap by offering internal training to current employees, but now offering these courses externally.

Rackspace Chairman Graham Weston said the cloud era represents a huge opportunity and it requires a specific, and critical skill set for this to be fully realized. As cloud adoption increases, companies stand to reduce IT costs and become more agile, however, with not enough people properly trained in these cutting edge technologies, organizations are missing the boat. The Open Cloud Academy can help turn the tide by offering highly sought after technical training to the public, bolstering the this scarce pipeline and helping fill the countless number of roles in San Antonio and beyond.

In addition, the Open Cloud Academy will have a focus on former military and university graduates and aims to help trainees get the IT certifications.

One of the pilot program students Nicholas Hamilton said that pursuing a career in the technology field is a smart choice for me, and not one I decided on by whim. With the state of the economy and the hardships facing most Americans, I wanted to work in a field where I could count on a living wage.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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