The need for skilled personnel who can work with cloud-based systems has grown following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
India is among countries in the Asia-Pacific region that will face a skills gap. “Many organizations lack the cloud expertise that could help their initiatives get off the ground quickly," said a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group and Amazon Web Services.
As much as 55% of respondents in the study said they are “focusing on reskilling their staff", but that could slow down the rate of adoption for cloud infrastructure, which is the need of the hour right now. Requirements include professionals who can work in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cybersecurity, blockchain, and analytics.
“More important than adoption (of cloud) is that organizations are quickly exposed to assets such as the security framework, flexibility and scalability framework where cloud adoption comes up in a big way," said Monesh Dange, partner and national leader, advisory markets, EY India.
“At the scale at which this is going to happen, the requirements for skills have gone up in a big way," he said.
Professionals need to be skilled in cloud architecture, cloud security, remote data centre management, and managing heavy duty applications on the cloud, Dange said.
Simple applications such as Word can be done from anywhere, but when it comes to things such as computer-aided design, it requires more skilled professionals. “There’s a dearth of these certified professionals," he said.
However, Dange added that an existing base is actually available in India. The matter is more about upskilling of existing professionals, which has to be done by both enterprises and the professionals themselves. “A cybersecurity professional today isn’t spending as much time on AI and ML as they were spending on their core. In today’s world, cross-skilling is needed," he said.
“There are multiple types of skill gaps here," said Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner, Convergence Catalyst. “If you look at it globally, there are two primary areas where the talent comes from—universities and industry. In India, except for IISc and a few IITs, not many institutions do much in-depth research on using these technologies. Even in bigger companies, it’s not product-oriented, it’s service-oriented. So, it doesn’t require a lot of core deep tech engineers on the panel," he said.
Further, other reports had indicated that the demand for such professionals would rise to 440,000 in 2020, with supply available for only about half of that. These reports, of course, didn’t take into account the pandemic and how it would impact spending on cloud infrastructure.