With many businesses moving to cloud computing services, they are finding new ways to conduct operations more efficiently and with greater collaboration. But, one problem that could hinder successful IT infrastructure and effective cloud-based solutions is the growing IT skills gap.

Writing for The Guardian, global director of security strategy at NTT Com Security Garry Sidaway noted that the lack of in-house skills are hampering adequate deployments.

"However, when it comes to the classic combination of 'people, process and technology' for a successful IT infrastructure, many businesses are putting the 'technology' and 'process' in place, but are struggling with the 'people' side of the equation," Sidaway wrote.

Without the right people in place with the necessary skills, the flexibility, cost savings, improved productivity and customer service can be offset.

NTT Com Security recently conducted a survey regarding attitudes towards cloud adoption. Approximately 12 percent of respondents stated "in-house skills availability" as the foremost component when debating whether to deploy new services or replace existing ones.

Additionally, the study found that when businesses consider in-house skills critical to cloud deployments, a little more than one-third of companies chose cloud as their delivery system; whereas the majority of those polled said they would use a data center to deploy an application service. Alternately, when in-house skills are not seen as critical for deployment , 45 percent of businesses selected cloud-based services.

Coping with the widening skills gap
According to Sidaway, some questions that need to be taken into account regarding organizations that are reluctant to adopt cloud-based solutions include a possible skills gap, businesses that are unaware of the needed skills or security concerns.

"There is still a level of uncertainty and misunderstanding about what cloud is and what it can deliver for the business - and security is one of the biggest barriers to adoption," noted Sidaway.

While many of these concerns arguably stem from revelations of the massive surveillance and data collection program guided by the National Security Agency, a growing skills gap could pose a bigger threat to the cloud.

An IDC study from 2012 revealed that 1.7 million cloud computing related jobs could not be filled due to a shortage in skills and training. Additionally, the demand for adept cloud IT professionals is expected to grow 26 percent year on year by 2015, creating upwards of 7 million cloud-related jobs.

For businesses that face these challenges, the role of cloud service providers that can guarantee all the benefits of the cloud including security will become prominent in the industry.