Cloud Skills Gaps Are Stalling Migrations: Pulse Study Results Unpacked

In InterVision’s recent study with Pulse, we found a plethora of interesting responses from 100 tech executives (44% VP, 26% C-suite, 30% director level), including a finding that many organizations have experienced a stalled cloud migration due in part to cloud skills gaps. This blog delves into what their responses might indicate for the wider market.

Most respondents agreed that cloud adoption could address concerns around scalability, cost, and competitiveness, which seems to be the primary drivers for their journeys to the cloud. Although, most IT executives (92%) also note that their organization expects IT to be operating with a cloud-first approach, which begs considerations as to whether IT is migrating to the cloud on their own volition or because of board member/stakeholder demands, or both.

The respondents noted that their three top reasons to move to the cloud were scalability (61%), security (51%), and competitiveness (47%), but cost-saving was not far behind (46%). Although the breakdown by job role differs: Most VPs (73%) say competitive edge is the most important reason for cloud adoption. Directors (70%) and C-suite executives (54%) cite scalable resources and cost-savings as their biggest drivers for cloud adoption, respectively. Close to three-quarters (73%) of IT executives feel that maintaining security for IP and critical data is their topmost priority when using cloud services.

These differences in the perceived top reasons for cloud adoption among job roles are a good opportunity for IT leaders to discuss whether they see eye to eye on priorities. If your own organization is experiencing a disconnect, it might be good to open a dialogue between all business stakeholders to gather everyone into a singular understanding.

Yet, there were also areas in the survey that gained unanimous agreement. For example, all agreed (100%) that that cloud-based infrastructure offers an improved IT model, compared to on-premises. And this is a far cry from what respondents might have said about the cloud a decade ago, as now the cloud seems to have gained wider traction as the norm for IT operations. But, looking beneath the hood, there still is slowed adoption, even as the majority views cloud as the better IT operating model.

The Great Slowdown

Most (66%) IT executives have already migrated up to one-quarter of their current infrastructure to the cloud—but very few (3%) have moved more than three-quarters to the cloud. This begs the question whether this fractional migration to the cloud is intentional or not.

The picture may come into better view after knowing that more than half (62%) say they have experienced stalled or slower-than-expected cloud migration. Most believe the delay in cloud migration is primarily due to unanticipated skills gaps (41%). So, what does this mean? Perhaps far too many companies are jumping into a cloud migration without the proper planning ahead of time, or without the proper skillsets needed to make the move a success.

Digging deeper into why most companies have stalled or experienced delays in their cloud migrations due to unexpected skills gaps, is perhaps the most critical takeaway for readers of this blog post. Do you have the right talent already in your organization, or do you need to hire or outsource to receive that talent?

What Does the Delay Cost?

For those who have migrated to the cloud, 12% are not achieving the cost savings they anticipated, 33% are unsure if they are, and 55% say they are meeting those cloud cost objectives. This means that far too many organizations might not be realizing the benefits their business had intended because they are weighed down with overrun costs. What does this mean for the business bottom line? What do company leaders and board members think of this lost revenue?

Of the IT executives who said they were achieving their cloud cost objectives, 42% were Directors, whereas only 12% were C-Suite execs and 36% were VPs. This means that the higher up the ladder the roles go, the less they agree that cost optimization in the cloud is being achieved. Moreover, this could point to a troubling disconnect in communication between these IT roles—perhaps, even more urgently, to a red flag that those who are charged with cloud management could have their jobs at risk.

Executives who aren’t meeting their cloud cost objectives say the biggest contributing factors are that personnel don’t have time to focus on cost management (51%) and don’t have the training/skills required (44%), and governance is lacking (44%).

A Management Predicament

There also seems to be wide appeal among the survey respondents for better cloud management than what they currently have in place. IT operations improvement (63%) is amongst the top priorities for IT spending in 2021, with filling cybersecurity gaps taking a slight lead (67%) and remote workforce enablement in third at 50%. These priorities could point to the lingering fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic—in which many employees were suddenly pushed to work from home—but it could also point to insufficient IT processes within the business and in the cloud.

One key finding of the survey is that 94% of IT leaders said they would prefer to offload day-to-day management of their cloud operations. A strategic service provider would be a great choice to consider if this survey response resonates with you.

However, only one-quarter of IT executives (25%) say they would allocate more than 10% of the technology budget to the cloud for next year. Here, there is a will to offload the spending involved in cloud operations, yet without investment from the business to do so. Perhaps this disconnect is an area for discussion among business leaders, to dig into why they aren’t investing more in the cloud when they believe it to be the better option for IT systems and business competitiveness.

If you need help jumpstarting a discussion within your business in this area, we are here to help. Indeed, we have assisted countless organizations in coaching them on how best to bring up the topic, gain buy-in, and strategize the best path forward. Contact us here for more info.

Read the full Cloud Migration Drivers and Challenges survey results.

*Pulse, “Cloud Migration Drivers and Challenges” Survey, 2021. 

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