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UK businesses are choosing “the most arduous path to cloud”

British businesses have created a “self-induced skills gap” by over-complicating the process of moving to the cloud, new research indicates.

A survey of 450 technology leaders commissioned by public cloud provider Skytap suggests that many companies are choosing the path of “most resistance”.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of UK-based respondents said their migration strategy relied on refactoring or rewriting applications – the two processes that require the most advanced technical skills.

Meanwhile, 55 per cent of those surveyed that their most critical recruiting need was hiring people capable of overseeing the migration process. The typical firm has dozens of on-premises applications that could be migrated into the cloud, the survey revealed.

“Enterprises are motivated to leverage cloud to modernise, and clearly understand the benefits,” said Jay Lyman a senior analyst at 451 Research, which carried out the survey. “However, the sheer mass and complexity of on-premises application portfolios, combined with a propensity to choose the most arduous path to cloud, is creating a painful skills challenge that may require a more patient, progressive approach to find relief.”

The skills shortage is not the only hurdle facing CIOs seeking to move their applications into the cloud. Previous research has revealed that many IT leaders still harbour major concerns about cloud security.

“UK organisations are simply not realising the benefits of digital transformation and risk falling behind,” said Skytap’s EMEA chief Chris Griggs. “Rather than finding new revenue streams or helping them connect with customers in new ways, technology change is giving UK IT leaders a cost and skills headache. UK enterprises need a more holistic modernisation strategy or face even greater risks from rapid technological change.”