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Cloud computing has been around for some 60 years but has come a long way over the last decade in particular, bringing with it the capability for businesses of all shapes, sizes and revenues to benefit from faster, cheaper and more scalable IT solutions.

Fewer businesses need physical hardware or the space to store it and the range of cloud services now available makes it fairly easy to find a solution that works for you. Large scale adoption of cloud computing has also forced big software providers to enable multiple integrations and more flexibility.

However, as cloud computing becomes more widespread, and software more sophisticated, more businesses are looking to hire cloud specialists. The problem is, they are hard to come by and employers need to get their heads out of the clouds when it comes to experience expectations.

Huge range of cloud services leads to shortage of specialist experience

A cloud type can be public, private, hybrid or community and the service falls into three categories – infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS).

The solution you go for will depend on your business needs – you could opt for a basic storage, networking and power processing option through to office application management and artificial intelligence – and the number of cloud computing providers is huge.

Amazon Web Service and Microsoft Azure are the big names in IaaS; Apprenda and Red Hat lead the PaaS market; and Google Applications and Salesforce are well-know in the SaaS space.

The demand for professionals who can manage these networks professionally is increasing, from both industry employers and managed service providers who have a specific cloud system skills-gap. However, with the development of cloud services and varying levels of adoption from one sector to the next, finding a cloud specialist with a certain level of experience with one type of cloud is sometimes too much to ask.

A more flexible candidate criteria

At Bond Williams Professional Recruitment, our specialist IT & Software Solutions division is finding that many businesses want engineers and analysts with a very specific cloud skillset. While there are suitable candidates out there, employers need to consider the following challenges and potentially adapt their essential criteria.

  • Outside of London, where the adoption of cloud services happened before other areas of the country, there are a limited number of candidates with a minimum level of experience in one cloud type.
  • Experienced engineers who have been working in a sector such as education for a long time may have had limited exposure to more modern cloud computing.
  • Networking, hardware storage, telecommunications and VoIP engineers are unlikely to specialise in all disciplines as well as cloud software.

Taking all of the above into account, employers need to review their criteria, be more realistic with their expectations and be willing to approach cloud specialist recruitment differently.

We recommend:

  • Compromising on other experience – If three years’ Azure experience is essential and the most business-critical skill required, consider downgrading other criteria such as networking experience, finance industry background or ‘non-corporate’ candidates.
  • Considering relocation and flexible working packages – Target experienced cloud specialists from the big cities or large corporations and offer to support them in relocating to your business in Dorset or Hampshire and offering flexible and remote working.
  • Planning ahead – If you know that you’re going to need a cloud specialist in the coming months, start advertising or engaging a recruitment agency early. It could be more cost-effective and productive if you are able to find someone with little experience and fund additional training in advance.

If you require support finding a cloud specialist, contact our IT & Software Solutions team today.

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