Security concerns and talent shortages risk stalling innovation in the UK

New research from Rackspace Technology delves into the state of UK businesses’ challenges when it comes to adopting new cloud technologies.

New research from Rackspace Technology® has revealed that despite many companies accelerating their digital transformation programmes, just 42% of technology leaders report a willingness to take on risk.

The Multicloud Annual Research Report 2022 cloud technology remains a key component of many IT strategies to improve customer experience and ease of use (47%), as well as the agility to scale up and down based on demand (39%). Many organisations are now also looking towards serverless to seize on the advantages that the early adopters (33% of respondents) are experiencing, like the ability to automate workflows (49%), scale IoT applications (41%), and deploy virtual assistants (41%).

However, concerns around security and IT talent have brought a dark cloud over the pursuit of such digital transformation and resulted in a low appetite for risk.

Nearly half of respondents (47%) stated that security and data privacy concerns present the top barrier to preventing their organisation from achieving peak cloud benefit and innovation in the space. 86% of respondents are either running applications on serverless or planning to in the next three years and 49% cited security specifically as a barrier to adoption.

The second most commonly reported challenge is the talent shortage, which is in turn exacerbating leaders’ security challenges. In fact, the talent shortage is inhibiting organisations’ adoption of new development methods in their DevOps (83%) and presents a barrier to serverless adoption (43%).

Overcoming security and talent concerns

Whether it’s moving to a multicloud environment, application of business processes, or the adoption of new technologies like serverless computing and the edge, digital innovation is at the core of many organisations’ business strategies.

Understanding the need to balance the risk presented by security and talent concerns and the pursuit of innovation, nearly half of technology leaders are now working with external strategic partners for support with security (46%), IT strategy (45%), managed services (41%), and training (33%).

Businesses are also bolstering their efforts to attract new IT talent by promoting training and development opportunities (44%), increasing salaries (31%) and promoting opportunities for hybrid and remote working (29%). And the same incentives are being offered to current employees to help curb staff turnover (31%, 37% and 31% respectively).

Andy Brierley, UK General Manager at Rackspace Technology, comments: “The current security landscape has put a dark cloud over many organisations’ technology ambitions, with IT leaders facing immense pressure between the pursuit of innovation and taking on greater risk through the adoption of new technologies. This has been further aggravated by the talent shortage that continues to plague the IT and security sectors.

“To ensure that businesses don’t have to stall their digital transformation projects, or take on undue risk in pursuing them due to a lack of skills, IT leaders should look for partners that can bring greater expertise and resources to help them continue to innovate safely.”

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