Umbrella Company Employees specialising in IT contracting could be about to find themselves in sharply heightened demand if they possess cloud computing know-how as an expert forecasts a serious skills shortage over the next ten years.

Bobby Soni, chief platform and services operator for the IT risk management firm RMS, told Computing magazine that the early resistance to cloud computing has been falling at an accelerated rate over the last two years; however, the stampede toward the cloud amongst business and organisations worldwide is outstripping the availability of the requisite skills and Mr Soni cites statistics suggesting a global shortage of five million cloud specialists over the next decade.

“The demand for the people that know virtualisation, for people who can architect a platform, for people who can write deployment scripts, for people who can write monitoring and management scripts, for people who can actually deploy software, that demand is going up all across the world,” he said.

Mr Soni called on governments and universities in different countries to create new educational programmes, including vocational courses, focussing on these cloud computing specialisms and to re-skill existing IT staff with the necessary expertise. If a country or region is to remain competitive, he said, their ability to access cloud computing expertise will now be a necessity: virtually all new startup companies are basing their infrastructure in the cloud.

Mr Soni went on to say that the take-up rate for cloud computing was “ramping” at an unprecedented rate, adding: “Five years ago that was not the case, so if you follow that train of thought, that’s a really accelerating demand … Anybody who’s an expert in cloud is very much in demand.”

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