Skills gap hindering government cloud adoption, survey finds

According to the latest research from government cloud provider Eduserv, a lack of awareness and skills around cloud computing is halting its adoption in central government.

The research, conducted in January and February of 829 civil servants, found that nearly nine in 10 (88%) required some form of training in order to take advantage of cloud computing, whilst three quarters (75%) believed the benefits of their cloud were a mystery to the company as a whole.

The survey results also shed some doubt on the process of migration, even if government organisations wanted to do it.

More than half (51%) of respondents said they didn’t think their department had the technical skills to move to the cloud, while a similar number (54%) said their project management skills were fit for purpose.

The overall effect is one of indecision and panic. Of course, given the survey is conducted by a company which provides IT to the public sector, it was only ever going to be this conclusion – but the skills gap fear for cloud computing is a real one.

It’s no wonder that research from recruitment specialists Robert Half Technology in October found cloud computing to be the most lucrative skill in the IT job market today, in the view of UK IT directors and CIOs. Similarly, research in July showed cloud to be the main investment priority for IT.

Back in January 2013 IDC proclaimed that the cloud skills gap was increasing – approximately 1.7m cloud related job roles weren’t filled because of lack of training, certification and experience. These figures, although not painting as bleak a picture, show a gap still exists.

“Government is in a position where the technology and tools are available to improve efficiency and performance, but it needs to take action to make sure it has the skills and knowledge to deliver the benefits it expects from its cloud-first programme,” said Andrew Hawkins, director of government services at Eduserv.

He added: “A broad understanding of what, why and how cloud can support the delivery of government business is vital if cloud projects are to be prioritised and supported within government departments.”

Last month Eduserv put more worrying figures out there, claiming that three quarters of charities saw their IT was not up to scratch.

The full report for the latest survey results will be released in May.

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