Article: Closing the cloud talent gap: Navigating the critical imbalance


Closing the cloud talent gap: Navigating the critical imbalance

The pandemic fueled a 40% increase in demand for cloud professionals in India in 2020, with 265,000 vacancies left unfilled despite 380,000 job postings.
Closing the cloud talent gap: Navigating the critical imbalance

The pandemic has given a critical thrust to cloud migration across the world. According to NASSCOM, India’s cloud market, estimated at $4.4 billion in 2021, is expected to grow at 26% and reach $5.6 billion this year.

Accelerated cloud adoption has widened the demand-supply gap for cloud talents in India too. The NASSCOM report noted that India ranked third in the world with 608,000 cloud professionals and is expected to grow at 24% CAGR by 2025. It means the talent pool will grow nearly 2.5 times to reach 1.5 million by 2025. However, the demand will be for 2.2 million professionals, going by the current pace of cloud adoption. So, still, there will be a considerable shortage. On the other hand, if talent growth picks up at 30-35%, India has a chance to be the second-largest cloud talent hub in the world. This brings the talent crisis into the limelight once again. 

Reports said the pandemic has triggered immense growth in demand for cloud professionals. In India alone, as many as 380,000 vacancies were posted for cloud roles in 2020, which was a 40% increase over the previous year. And the organisations were able to get only 115,000 personnel. That means, 265,000 posts remained unfilled.

The crisis is reaching a critical mass even at this stage, throttling the growth plan and modernisation of organisations. It is especially hard to fill the slots for cloud architects, data engineers, and solution architects as they need niche skills. Another curious aspect of this crisis is that there is an increased need for mature and complex cloud skills at the cloud industry primary levels.

There are multiple challenges in filling this gap. First is the lack of enough investment. More debates are revolving around the work to be done, rather than strengthening the supply chain. No serious investment is done in preparing the pipeline. Another challenge is that organisations are looking for experienced talents and not giving due attention to new talents. We make the mistake often for replacing a talent with the same amount of experience and expertise. We want a clone of the person who left, instead of opening doors for another potential talent.

So, the solution should be also multifaceted and at multi-levels. We need to invest in current talent too, along with the creation of new talent. Organisations should pay attention to developing the existing talent, by upskilling them. Another area to be addressed is a diversity of talents, without gender, geographical or racial bias. Similarly, it is important to invest in company culture, which is essential for attracting new employees and stemming attrition. We need to identify the pull fact for the potential employees.

We have a huge pool of fresh talent at the universities. Graduate students with IT, computer science, electronics and computer engineering, math and those with diplomas could be potential talents. Nearly 263,000 students graduated with these degrees in 2020. But the current learning and examination culture often becomes a hindrance as they do not have the new age skills. So, it is important to recondition and strengthen learning methodologies to improve employability. By reinforcing university curricula with integrated modules of in-demand cloud courses, modernising course curricula, implementing outcome-based education systems, expanding apprenticeships and early career opportunities, and introducing more training programs for teachers, we can tap better the potential pool of students.

Another important factor is to reach out to tier-II and tier-III cities to garner resources. Currently, 74% of the total cloud talents are in just four cities – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, and Mumbai. Similarly, we should also re-skill the in-house talents for new and future skills. Also, the government has a major role to play in improving the overall ecosystem with more initiatives and programs, sensing the huge opportunity awaiting us in the cloud segment.

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Topics: Technology

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