The term ‘cloud computing’ has certainly shown itself to be a tech buzzword over the couple of years. Whilst the concept has undoubtedly led organisations to learn more about the benefits it can bring, there are still relatively few businesses that are actually putting it into practice and indeed reaping the rewards.
Despite everyone talking and learning about cloud computing, the demand for cloud skills is healthy but not overwhelming, and certainly not in sync with the hype — until now. The demand for cloud talent has caught up.
One of Gartner’s top predictions for 2010 was that 20 per cent of companies would have no IT assets by 2012 and that IT staff will either be reduced or re-skilled to meet new requirements. Just over a year on and this month, another Gartner survey of global job postings has revealed that most IT organizations are hiring for the past and for the wrong requirements.
Will cloud computing be to information technology today, what automation was to the assembly line in the ’80s? If so, what happens to those jobs? To the people who used to do them?
It seems to me that there’s no question that two types of staffing shifts will take place: individuals who are working in IT today will need to learn new skills (if they aren’t already), and certain jobs will shift from the enterprise to the cloud service provider.
As Chuck Hollis, CTO of EMC Corporation wrote in his blog post some time back “If you’re an IT leader, you’ve got an interesting challenge on your hands. You most likely don’t have the right portfolio of end-state roles, skills and processes. And you are probably lacking the people with skills who can lead the change from present state to future state.”
To this point, I came across a report published by Wanted Analytics which was detailed in an article by Forbes about the demand for cloud computing skills. The report shows an enormous surge of cloud computing-related hiring with more than 2,400 companies posting job ads for candidates with cloud computing skills over a 90-day period. Not surprisingly, San Francisco ranked as the metropolitan area with the highest volume of job ads in that same period.
It could be though, that only a portion of candidates will have deep cloud computing expertise and direct experience with the technology. So does this mean that skills will always be a step behind? As new technologies emerge with openings for lots of jobs, will there always be few qualified candidates who are up to speed?
In fact, a sceptic might even go so far as to say that we may see a situation where job applicants beef up their CVs and add more cloud experience that they realistically have – partly because of demand and partly because cloud jobs will be some of the highest paid in the sector. This will make it tough for employers to pick the right person for the job.
Whilst we’ll see this change start to become very apparent over the next couple of years, cloud computing will undoubtedly be good for the IT industry.