Last updated: 17.08.13

UK businesses 'need more cloud computing training'

As an increasing number of companies adopt the cloud and use it to drive innovation in their business, there is a need for employees to develop a new set of skills.

This is according to Nigel Beighton - vice-president of international technology at Rackspace - and 
Dr Brian Nicholson, senior lecturer at Manchester Business School, who claimed in an article for V3 that IT is the lifeblood of many firms, with cloud computing in particular allowing them to open up new market opportunities and agile workflows.

However, the experts - who were writing as part of the Make It Better campaign to improve computing learning in schools - noted that their Cloud Computing: State of Play 2013 study showed cloud projects have been set back by a lack of skills among employees and there are gaps in knowledge across the entire IT industry.

As the digital revolution is firmly upon us, it is now up to organisations to begin finding ways of equipping their staff with the training they need to thrive online.

While the research found half of respondents are planning to train their current IT teams to be able to manage cloud computing deployments, they complained of a lack of relevant professional training being made available - indeed, two-thirds (66 per cent) of companies were not aware of courses in this area.

Michael O'Toole, global head of data centres at financial services firm Morgan Stanley, said it is not just technical cloud skills that will be important in future. 

He was quoted as saying that graduates will need to understand they "will have to have a degree, say in computer sciences, but also financial and commercial skills, so they move to the top of the ranks in the IT world".

However, survey respondents complained higher education facilities are failing to prepare IT students for cloud computing in the workplace, with 74 per cent suggesting they are not concentrating enough on cloud skills in their courses.

This comes after recent research commissioned by TalkTalk Business found that only nine per cent of staff at small and medium-sized organisations rate their own computer abilities, although almost 60 per cent said better IT skills would make them more productive.