The talent challenge: steps to accessing Cloud professionals

28 August 2018
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An introduction to the Human Cloud and its relationship to gig working

In today’s digital age, growth in the Internet of Things and 5G communications are driving business models to become increasingly reliant on the Cloud to function. As a result organisations are stepping up their investment in the Cloud to ensure they can harness leading-edge technologies that will drive their business forward. And as Cloud adoption increases, so too will competition for individuals with this skillset to lead adoption and integration.

However, moving towards the Cloud doesn’t just require specialists. These days, many technologists’ roles involve the Cloud – but they use it, rather than build or maintain it. These individuals may not require specialist knowledge about the inner workings of the Cloud, but they do need continual reskilling and upskilling to ensure they harness and integrate these technologies in the most efficient and safe manner.

With this in in mind, it’s important for organisations to take a long-term view of how they can stay ahead of the competition and secure the relevant skills their business needs, making the acquisition of Cloud skills a strategically important matter.

Here are a number of things to consider when recruiting and retaining talent for your organisation:

  • Be willing to offer attractive remuneration. Consider what impact saving a few pounds on your recruitment costs may have on your organisation’s transformative intentions from both an attraction and retention standpoint. Efforts to save on a pay packet may hamper your organisation’s ability to secure individuals that can drive substantial business value.
  • Provide an opportunity to upskill. Not all Cloud experts are motivated by money alone. Contractors will also be attracted to organisations that provide them with an opportunity to upgrade their existing skillsets. Cloud projects that focus on the latest technology such as the Internet of Things and Edge Computing will most appeal to talent.
  • Cross train your staff. There shouldn’t be a motivation issue, given that entering the Cloud skills market currently has no downsides. Transferable skills include SQL and MySQL, software quality assurance and project management.
  • Consider outsourcing. In the extreme, this may mean outsourcing your complete IT function. Or it could mean selectively outsourcing elements, so that you retain overall control. Consider new ways of working with your suppliers, such that the relationship evolves into a partnership where risk and reward are shared.
  • Embrace diversity. According to Microsoft, 80% percent of IT roles in the UK are occupied by males. However, research has shown that gender balanced teams better adhere to project schedules, incur lower costs and achieve higher performance ratings. Addressing this imbalance will help to fix the Cloud skills bottleneck and in turn improve the overall economy.
  • Hire for Learnability. Today, employability is less about what people already know, but more about their capacity to learn and their desire and ability to continually develop in-demand skills. In turn, this will enable your employees to remain innovative and responsive to emerging trends.
  • Remove unnecessary qualifications barriers. As the accepted view of what good education looks like changes, so too must the requirements of new hires. With that in mind, it’s a good opportunity to reassess your qualification criteria. Does it really matter whether your Cloud specialist went to University if they have all the necessary training?
  • Consider hiring untapped talent. Training schemes such as AWS re:Start are working to help organisations give military veterans experience in IT roles, providing individuals with relevant Cloud based foundation training and allowing them to show their potential to learn and progress in the space.
  • Find talent with the right skills mix. Don’t just focus on finding talent that understand Cloud technology and systems. They also need the soft skills required to solve problems, communicate and collaborate. The right blend of hard and soft skills will be increasingly valuable to your organisation.

Regardless of whether you’re employing Cloud specialists or technologists with Cloud skills, employers have an important role to play in ensuring their skills remain relevant. Since Cloud adoption is only set to increase in the years ahead, we can expect the war for talent with the right skills to continue to intensify.

If you need support with attracting the right Cloud talent for your organisation, then please get in touch.