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Author's profile photo Gerd Stumm

Why cloud skills are more important than you might think

Do you also find yourself rather pulling up the latest episodes on the internet, rather than waiting for it to air on TV?
And haven’t you also heard more music online lately?
And what about that office package in the cloud? Had enough of those CD installations with a notebook that doesn’t even have a CD player?

The new norm

Let’s face it. In less than a decade, mobile, social, and especially cloud computing has gone from hype to reality. It’s all about simplicity, flexibility, and agility.
Businesses are already accelerating their cloud spending. More than two-thirds (69%) of companies expect to make moderate-to-heavy cloud investments over the next three years (IDC). And cloud pays off. Almost 80 % of companies already see measurable impact on business performance from their use of cloud computing. In fact, cloud is becoming a primary platform for business innovation, with three out of four customers saying innovation/R&D will most likely become cloud-based (Oxford).

More than just technology

While most companies see the value of the cloud and recognize the magnitude of technological change, a critical aspect is often neglected. The transition to the cloud model requires an investment in more than software – it requires changes in operations and processes, in roles, and skills, especially when it comes to hybrid landscapes and solutions. Often, managers are so focused on the vision of the cloud that they don’t put enough attention on whether their IT staff is prepared for the new era. The right people, with the right skills (a balanced skillset which supports business and IT alignment), have to be in the right places and serve the right roles. Otherwise, the transformation strategy will fail. With the scarcity of new skills, companies are now competing heavily for skilled technical professionals.

Only 14% of employees feel proficient in their cloud skills (2014) and only 25% expect to be proficient in three years, making cloud a laggard compared to other technologies like analytics or programming, or even development. (Oxford). Making things worse, the half-life of skills and technical knowledge is continually shrinking, as the speed and extent of technological change and innovation in general accelerates, leading to even shorter innovation cycles of cloud products.

What does your company do?

It should come as no surprise that in a Deloitte study (2015) 85% of survey participants rated learning to be an important problem (up by a factor of 3 when compared to last year). Despite this demand, the readiness to address it proves to become less and less. Companies are struggling to redesign their training environment and incorporate new learning tools and technologies. Only 40% of respondents rated their organizations as ready in learning and development (2015), compared to 75% in 2014, making the gap between importance and readiness more than three times worse than the year before.


The consequence is, employees don’t get the training they need. According to Oxford Economics, only 34% of employees say their company gives them the training they require, and an MMC study has revealed that more than 4 out of 10 (43.6%) SAP professionals state that they themselves have not received sufficient training to perform their job.


The business risk

The lack of proper training is not only a major contributor to project failure and a poor ROI. According to an Accenture study, businesses are facing significant challenges when choosing not to fix their skills gap. Among those large US companies facing a skills shortage:
– 66% anticipate a loss of business to competitors
– 64% face a loss of revenue
– 59% face eroding customer satisfaction
– 53% say they will face a delay in developing new products or services

Build the skills that drive value

If you‘re an SAP Enterprise Support customer, you‘re off the hook. Through the award-winning SAP Enterprise Support Academy, a deliverable of SAP Enterprise Support at no additional cost, you can address the skills gap and run simple by making sure your organization has the knowledge and SAP skills that are essential for success, regardless of your choice of deployment, or where you are in your innovation journey.

Designed for SAP software users, SAP Enterprise Support Academy is a comprehensive and effective enablement program, which uses the latest digital learning tools and offers a wide range of services and educational content, all helping you to maximize the benefit of SAP Enterprise Support and the SAP software running your business.


The SAP Enterprise Support Academy program combines training, collaboration, support, and deployment of best practices, and helps you to:
• Run your software solution at peak performance
• Drive smooth end-to-end operations and maintain operational standards
• Get your IT ready for innovation and accelerate innovation throughout the entire organization
• Maximize the value of your SAP software

To access the SAP Enterprise Support Academy in the SAP Service Marketplace, go to


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