Search Demand for Senior Cloud Talent Booms: Up 224% Since COVID-19
Demand for cloud execs up from 20% between 2018 to 2019, and 16% from 2017 to 2018 – reflecting boosted cloud revenue growth by industry leaders Microsoft, IBM, Amazon AWS
According to Leadership Capital Group, a global executive search firm, demand for Senior Cloud (Digital) Executive searches are up 224 percent since March. The driver has been a rush to the cloud-accelerated by the global pandemic. With the pandemic, Fortune 2000 and emerging-growth companies are freeing up money that would normally be spent on marketing and shifting it to upgrading technology infrastructure and applications to the cloud.
Leading indicators of cloud demand were reported in quarterly (April-June period) earnings by Microsoft whose financials beat the Street with cloud revenues topping $50B. And, IBM revenue beat estimates boosted by cloud demand.
Leadership Capital Group, which specializes in guiding information-intense businesses to realize human capital advantages, noted that there is an acute need for organizations to execute an effective cloud strategy. The increased search demand results are based on search requests globally from March 2020 to July 2020 compared with the same time period in 2019. As a reference point, Leadership Capital Group reported that search requests for cloud execs from calendar year 2018 to calendar year 2019 increased by 20 percent (which essentially kept pace with total cloud growth forecasted by Gartner in 2019), and from calendar year 2017 to calendar year 2018 by 16 percent.
Representative job titles for these executive cloud positions include Managing Director of Infrastructure Services, EVP of Infrastructure and Technology Operations, Head of Digital Products, EVP of AI, Chief Digital Revenue Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Executive Director of Cloud Services, SVP of Cloud, and Enterprise Cloud Security Strategy Leader. They noted that company boards are seeking candidates for traditional leadership roles at major companies, like CEO, President, or Chief Marketing Officer, be cloud-savvy.
Marc Lewis, CEO of Leadership Capital Group noted, “We have been seeing steady growth in search requests for senior cloud executives from low double digits to over 20 percent in the past three years. When COVID-19 hit, by April the demand had skyrocketed.”
Lewis explained that finding these executives is not simple. “Shifting to cloud services and aligning cloud strategy and implementation with business goals is a question of balance. Companies need to ask the hard question: ‘What does cloud transformation really mean?’ Is it just shutting down your server and migrating to a major provider, or is it strategically determining how to synchronize best business practices with what applications and infrastructure remain on premise, and which go to large and niche cloud service providers?”
Lewis noted that a cloud strategy mistake for a major company could cost hundreds of millions in lost productivity through a botched transformation. It can mean over provisioning (buying more cloud services than needed) or going to the wrong provider for a point solution.
Lewis added, “Finding the right person is like the difference between a developer and an architect. What you really want is someone who is like a general manager of cloud services who actually understands the whole ecosystem. They need to evaluate what things are optimized locally, what things should go to a specialized cloud service, and what can go to the mega providers. The problem is that those who truly understand all the issues and can connect it to business strategies are one in a thousand,” he said.