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Pluralsight Study Finds Only 8% of Global Tech Workers Have Significant Cloud-Related Skills

Pluralsight, the technology workforce development company, released its 2022 State of Cloud Report, which compiles survey results from more than 1000 technologists and leaders in the United StatesEuropeAustralia, and India on the most current trends and challenges in cloud strategy and learning. While the study found that 75% of tech leaders say they’re building all new products and features in the cloud moving forward, only 8% of technologists have significant cloud-related skills and experience. Additionally, 64% of respondents say that they are new to cloud learning and are looking to build basic cloud fluency.

According to McKinsey, cloud adoption is crucial to an organization’s success, with more than 1 trillion dollars in potential earnings in the cloud up for grabs across Fortune 500 companies by 2030. Yet, cloud skills gaps exist for many technologists today. Pluralsight’s 2022 State of Upskilling Report, released earlier this year, found that 39% of respondents ranked cloud computing as a top personal skills gap.

“As organizations begin making heavier investments into the cloud, they must dedicate resources and time to ensure their technologists are up to the task of cloud transformation,” said Drew Firment, VP of Enterprise Strategies at Pluralsight. “Findings from our State of Cloud Report show that most technologists only have a basic familiarity with cloud technologies. Tech leaders need a cloud strategy that provides confidence and predictability in their ability to build cloud maturity at scale and that starts with ensuring they can upskill their teams on cloud technologies.”

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The State of Organizational Cloud Maturity

Pluralsight’s State of Cloud Report gathered data on organizational cloud maturity and cloud strategy. Nearly half (48%) of organizations rate themselves as having high levels of cloud maturity, while only 7% of organizations have made no investments into the cloud. The study also revealed that technology companies are more likely than any other sector to rate themselves as having a high level of cloud maturity.

There are many different ways that organizations can drive towards cloud maturity. In the survey, 45% of organizations say they design cloud strategies for speed and business value. Additionally, 39% of organizations are working to optimize for cloud-native with containers and serverless, and 38% of organizations enable hybrid architectures with distributed cloud.

Security is a top challenge to leveling up cloud maturity, regardless of the organization’s current level of maturity with 45% of organizations saying that security and compliance concerns are the number one cloud maturity challenge.

Key Trends in Cloud Learning

As the data from this report suggests, most technologists are new to their cloud learning journeys. Twenty-percent of technologists report having skills gaps in fundamental cloud fluency.

For technologists, the top personal cloud skills gaps are:

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  • Cloud security (40%)
  • Networking (37%)
  • Data (31%)

Additionally, there are a variety of barriers that technologists encounter when trying to upskill in the cloud. These barriers include:

  • Budget constraints (43%)
  • Being too busy/lacking time for upskilling (38%)
  • Employers emphasize hiring rather than upskilling (32%)

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This data shows that employers’ willingness to dedicate resources for cloud upskilling greatly affects the cloud-readiness of their organization.

Despite these sometimes limited upskilling resources, technologists are still finding ways to engage with cloud learning. Sixty-eight percent of technologists dedicate time at least once per week to technology upskilling. For those upskilling in the cloud, 62% find hands-on or practical exercises, such as cloud labs and sandboxes, to be the most effective way to learn cloud skills. Forty-eight percent of technologists use online tech skills development platforms to learn cloud skills.

Disconnect Between Cloud Technologists and Business Leaders

Findings of this report reveal a disconnect between organizational and individual cloud maturity. Business leaders reported high confidence in their organizations’ cloud strategies while individual contributors report feeling new to cloud technologies.

Despite employee skills gaps, growing cloud skills internally was not one of the top strategies business leaders used for reaching organizational cloud maturity. Only 37% of organizations use internal cloud upskilling as a key strategy for cloud maturity. However, cloud skills gaps rank as the second largest cloud maturity challenge, with 43% of organizations agreeing that cloud skills gaps in their organizations affect cloud maturity. Challenges arise when trying to balance organizational and individual needs for learning, as individuals desire personal enrichment and career advancement from training (46%), while leaders value outcomes that identify vulnerabilities (30%) and cost optimization (28%).

In order to achieve cloud goals like higher levels of cloud maturity, increased cloud security, and cost optimization, organizations need to be creators of cloud talent. Cloud technology is fairly ubiquitous, with 46% of leaders overseeing one or more technical teams that work directly with cloud technology. Upskilling cloud proficiency should be a top priority, as most technologists are still new to cloud technology and are looking to improve their fluency.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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