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Greg Hanson, vice-president EMEA at Informatica, discusses the importance of nurturing a new generation of cloud and data leaders
Cloud era leaders-In an Internet minute, more than 41.6 million WhatsApp messages and 188 million emails are sent, whilst 3.8 million search queries are run online. If you were to plot these data points on a graph and track them over the space of six months, unsurprisingly they would be growing at an exponential rate. Yet, despite data in many ways being the beating heart of nearly every decision businesses make, we still live in a world in which little emphasis is placed on developing data-driven skills at an early age. To support the younger generation in focusing on developing data and technology-led skills, businesses have a responsibility to think about how to show them what a career in tech could offer them.
As technology-led innovations continue to shape the future of our workforce, we need to reconsider talent development to ensure that it encompasses some of the key technologies set to improve workplace productivity and efficiencies, with cloud paving the way for a new way of working.
The cloud challenges
Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on cloud technology, and this reliance has only increased as a result of Covid-19. To meet the changing needs of customers and to keep pace with rapidly adapting ways of working, fully embracing cloud technology is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. In fact, at our recent Informatica online event series, we discussed how 83% of enterprise workloads were expected to be in the cloud by 2020, with 75% of all databases deployed or migrated to a cloud platform by 2022. This paints a pretty clear picture as to why we need to be teaching the future workforce how to manage, monitor and protect their data in the cloud.
Yet, findings from a recent global survey of chief data officers (CDOs) highlighted that 62% of organisations surveyed still believe cloud to be a significant challenge, with half of respondents struggling with some of the basics including cloud data warehouse and data lake ingestion, data quality and data governance. As such, businesses have a long way to go in responding to growing cloud demand by training the likes of data stewards in helping a company to achieve its data strategy, with an emphasis on using high quality data sets.
The right technical skills are critical in order to capitalise on the benefits of the cloud. But, before we even begin to consider the technical skills needed, we need to go back to basics. The first, and sometimes less obvious, challenge is in showing today’s young people that working with cloud technology could be a future career option. The problem is that when young people think of cloud, they associate the term with obvious elements from their everyday lives such as iCloud and Dropbox, instead of its potential and application in the world of business.