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Cloud skills gap hinders adoption

Businesses are finding it difficult to gather sufficient expertise to execute their cloud strategies.

Security and compliance have been long-standing barriers to cloud adoption, but they may not be the most prominent problem. According to an IDC study published in December 2012, companies struggle to find employees with cloud expertise. Despite the lack of cloud-ready staff, many businesses are continuing with deployments, as 50 percent of respondents rated the cloud as a high priority.

IDC analysts noted that North American businesses represent the majority of public cloud spending, accounting for 62 percent of the market. Adoption is expected to grow rapidly in other markets, with 34 percent annual growth in the Latin American, Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asia Pacific regions through 2015.

"Despite modest growth of the IT sector overall in the U.S., cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013, but with this increase comes the harsh reality that workforces around the world are steps behind when it comes to attaining the skills necessary to thrive in the cloud computing industry,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president at IDC. "Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing."

Cloud guidance needed
The public sector has showcased a similar need for aid in optimizing cloud deployments. InfoWorld columnist David Linthicum reported on several challenges revealed by the Government Accountability Office, which include a similar skills shortage. This suggests a growing need for technological partnerships between cloud storage companies and their customers to help identify best practices in regard to cost optimization.