Talent Dearth Continues to Hamper Cloud Expansion, Survey Shows

While we're still in a cloud computing boom, familiar challenges like a lack of top talent continue to hinder enterprise efforts to expand their cloud initiatives, says a new report.

The survey-based report, titled "Accelerating Forward: The State of Cloud-Driven Transformation," was produced by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and sponsored by Splunk, known for its security/observability data platform. The survey was conducted last October.

While it reaffirmed the pandemic-led cloud computing boom, it also reaffirmed common issues slowing it down.

"The rapid acceleration and expansion of cloud has brought its own challenges -- not only in terms of integration and management, but also with regards to new cybersecurity, data privacy, ROI measurement, and cloud talent concerns," the report says.

Indeed, regarding that last item, one of the findings of the report addresses those challenges that hinder cloud expansion, finding once again the same familiar list of problems and issues, led by a lack of talent.

"According to survey respondents in organizations where cloud adoption sped up or grew over the previous year, the top issues their organizations are wrangling with are a dearth of cloud talent (45 percent), growing cybersecurity and data privacy worries (44 percent), issues integrating cloud services/data (34 percent), difficulty measuring the overall business value of cloud (34 percent), and lack of end-to-end visibility across the technology environment (31 percent)," the report says.

The Challenges of Cloud Expansion
[Click on image for larger view.] The Challenges of Cloud Expansion (source: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services).

The No. 1 challenge echoes a familiar refrain for all kinds of tech that we've seen over the years, exemplified by articles like:

"While the hastened and expanded use of cloud represents significant progress for enterprises as a foundation for greater agility, flexibility, and digital transformation, the rapid growth in cloud adoption has also challenged organizations," the report says. "Most notably, organizations are struggling to acquire the skills required to manage cloud and also contending with increased concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy."

  • 81 percent of survey respondents say that cloud is very or extremely important to their organization's future strategy and growth
  • 67 percent say their organization has accelerated the adoption or implementation of already planned cloud applications, services, or infrastructure during the past 12 months
    Cloud's Continued Ascent
    [Click on image for larger view.] Cloud's Continued Ascent (source: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services).
  • 62 percent agree that their organization is having difficulty keeping up with the rapidly evolving technology roles and responsibilities required to manage its increased cloud adoption

"There's one thing that's clear: Unleashing the power of cloud has never been more urgent, with 67 percent of senior executives surveyed saying their organization has accelerated its plans for cloud adoption, up from just over half the year before," said Teresa Carlson, president and chief growth officer for Splunk. "On top of that, organizations have doubled down on net-new cloud investments, with over half increasing their spend, compared to just under a third in 2020. While organizations are harnessing the power of the cloud to improve business outcomes, they are still struggling with the complexities introduced by a hybrid cloud environment. And of those with a hybrid cloud environment, 88 percent cite that they'll maintain this strategy for the foreseeable future."

The report is based on an October 2021 survey that garnered 300 respondents drawn from the HBR audience of readers (magazine/enewsletter readers, customers and users).

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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