10 Nov 2022

Event round-up: How is cloud powering the future of work?

On 10 November 2022, techUK hosted a webinar as part of Cloud Week and our Exploring the Future of Work Series, exploring how cloud is changing the workforce and how organisations are responding to the new skills requirements of cloud-enabled innovation.

The panel:

  • Richard Hotchkin, Director and Cloud Platform Product Manager, Aptum
  • Moira Roberts, Business Development Manager, Cloud Gateway
  • Steve Brown, Director, Empiric
  • Nimmi Patel, Policy Manager - Skills, Talent & Diversity, techUK

You can watch the full webinar here, or read our summary of the key insights below:

Please note that the below is a summary of the event, and readers are encouraged to watch the webinar to understand the full details of the discussion.

Cloud and the workforce of today and tomorrow

The panel opened by exploring the central role of cloud in the workforce of today, the acceleration of SaaS adoption during and after the pandemic, and the increasingly hybrid and distributed nature of the workplace.

This transition has had implications for both the technical teams creating and delivering applications, and end users adapting to a more flexible and efficient way of working. We are also seeing a need for more agile talent that can adapt to different cloud tools and understand the underlying technologies.

The conversation moved to the increased productivity potential of a cloud-enabled workforce, with greater flexibility and powerful collaboration tools bringing people together across organisations. The panellists also unpacked the specialist - generalist dynamic in cloud and the proliferation of digital tools and services available across multiple platforms that could put pressure on workers facing “skills dilution” to use some of the extra time created by automation and more flexible cloud tools to focus on ongoing development and learning skills in new areas.

Picking the right tools to unlock business value

Emerging technologies like AI and the pressure on organisations to be data-driven was another key topic covered in this session. Steve urged business leaders to stop and think why they are adopting new tools and how those capabilities connect to business outcomes before rushing to implement AI.

Moira pointed out that a hybrid connectivity model is likely to serve some organisations better than a rushed transition to public cloud - particularly for public sector emergency services organisations that need long-term storage for sensitive data. The key is considering what functions are best sent to public cloud and navigating that can be challenging for often skills starved organisations.

Richard suggested that many organisations will find it easiest to take advantage of the AI and other analytics tools that are built into the back end of most cloud platforms - there is no need to reinvent the wheel in a sector facing skills shortages.

Moving beyond cloud migration

The panel also explored the workforce and organisational culture implications of the shift from CapEx to OpEx and the need to move beyond lift and shift and optimise applications and skillsets for cloud.

Businesses will need to retrain everyone across the organisation for this new world of work. Richard made a strong case that leaders need retraining as well - not just technical teams - so that when they are making decisions about the direction of the organisation, they understand the fundamentals. All employees need ongoing training, and this lets management “recruit for attitude and train for skills”.

Workforce retention and ongoing professional development was another key issue explored in this webinar, including the need to support employees around challenges like the security implications of hybrid work.

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Nimmi Patel

Nimmi Patel

Policy Manager, Skills, Talent and Diversity, techUK

Chris Hazell

Chris Hazell

Programme Manager - Cloud, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Jake Wall

Jake Wall

Policy Manager, Skills and Future of Work, techUK