Now running for its third year, the Tech Cities Job Watch report provides employers with a quarterly barometer of the changing workforce dynamics within the technology sector. Each report is supported by a Market Update event where business leaders from a range of industries discuss the findings and trends in one of the key disciplines in the report. This blog was written using insights from the Cloud Market Update which took place in September 2017.
The Cloud is the power behind all kinds of simple tasks that we complete every day. It’s not a new phenomenon – effectively, it applies to any service that’s delivered over the web. But, as our lives have become increasingly entwined with the internet, our reliance on the Cloud has grown significantly.
This pervasiveness is only set to increase, with the Government looking to make every sector digital – a vision that will be enabled by the better use of data in the Cloud by organisations. But there are a few things that businesses need to improve first to help this happen:
- Building trust in the security of Cloud services
- Developing a communication infrastructure that keeps pace with mass Cloud adoption
- Building a coherent regulatory framework for the Cloud
- Enabling data portability and system interoperability within the Cloud computing ecosystem
- Supporting the cultural shifts required to optimise the use of the Cloud
- Ensuring effective public sector adoption and usage of the Cloud
Whilst all of these factors are important, building trust in the security of Cloud services is fundamental to the progress of the technology. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be a major factor in driving organisations to improve how they handle an individual’s data. And companies who embrace its ethos will be better equipped to win and maintain the trust of their customers – providing a competitive advantage over those who take a more relaxed viewpoint.
However, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding what GDPR means for the Cloud and where responsibilities sit across the data ecosystem. What is clear is that most businesses need to adjust their processes to ensure that they remain compliant.
Additionally, businesses will also need to ensure that their Cloud workforce is equipped to handle GDPR, either by getting the right individuals in place (who are still unlikely to know everything, as much of the detail concerning how the legislation will be applied is still unclear) or by upskilling existing employees. With our latest Tech Cities report highlighting that there is still significant demand for Cloud talent, with demand soaring by nearly 98% since Q2 2016, organisations will need to ensure that they have an attractive proposition in place to attract the right talent.
This is likely to become more important as we move towards Brexit, as many individuals who work in the tech sector are originally from the EU, meaning that the skills shortage across IT is likely to become more pronounced. In order for organisations to ready themselves for the progress of Cloud and the impending GDPR legislation, we recommend that they conduct a review of the existing workforce and identify training and development needs to ready them for the forthcoming changes.
Businesses should also remember that today’s pace of change is so rapid that learnability is often more valuable than the actual skills that the individual currently possesses.
Whilst the legislation still requires some clarification, what is abundantly clear is that businesses must start planning now to ensure that their talent pipeline remains fluid going forward. Those who choose to ignore it could find themselves in a difficult position from May 2018.