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Demand for Cloud Techies to Hit 2 Million by 2025, Says Nasscom

India has the potential to become the world's second-largest cloud talent hub, says a new report by Nasscom.

Nasscom

The demand for cloud technology professionals is likely to touch 2 million by 2025, a new report by Nasscom said. According to the report, the country has the potential to become the world’s second largest cloud talent hub with the combined effort of government bodies, education and skilling organisations and technology providers, according to a recent report by IT industry body Nasscom.

The new report, titled “Cloud Skills: Powering India’s Digital DNA,” published in association with Draup, Tata Consultancy Services and Accenture for Research said that at present, India ranks third with 608,000 cloud professionals across all verticals, including technology. However, the demand for cloud solutions is growing exponentially both in India and worldwide, leading to a higher demand for talent in this space.

The report estimates that India had about 380,000 job openings in cloud in 2020, up 40% over 2019. The demand for cloud skills far outweighs current supply and needs to focus across stakeholders on upskilling. Apart from increased cloud adoption due to the pandemic, the growth in India’s SaaS startup ecosystem has been a key driver for the demand for talent. Nearly 40,000 cloud professionals are employed with SaaS startups in India, estimated the report.

The report added that cloud roles in the sector of native application development, network virtualization, containerization and service architecture are gaining significance among businesses. With security becoming integral to cloud, especially in the post-pandemic world, specialized skills in cloud security, security standardization, SASE platforms, identity and access management, and data encryption are seeing greater demand.

With a baseline growth of 24% compounded annual growth rate, India’s cloud talent pool is expected to grow 2.4 times to nearly 1.5 million by 2025. However, to bridge the demand-supply gap, there is an urgent need to scale talent further, with the right skill sets, so that this demand can be met.

The report estimates that with a more aggressive talent building roadmap of over 30% growth rate, India can increase its cloud talent pool to approx 1.8 million. India is well placed to do this by tapping into the adjacent pool of already employed cloud professionals and also by targeting fresh talent from universities. Roles in traditional software engineering, IT and networking, cybersecurity, data engineering can be targeted for upskilling due to higher skill overlap and upskilling propensity.

“Cloud adoption has witnessed an accelerated adoption during the pandemic as enterprises focused on building hybrid work models, collaboration infrastructure and business continuity,” Debjani Ghosh, president of NASSCOM, said in a statement.

According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is projected to grow at 20 per cent on an annual basis by 2022 to $398 billion. India’s cloud market is estimated to reach $5.6 billion by 2022, a 26 per cent year-on-year growth.

Nasscom had earlier estimated the global cloud opportunity at $800 billion by 2025. India has the required ecosystem to take a big share of this market and be seen as the cloud solutions hub for the world.

These figures are clear indication that for India to become the world’s second largest cloud talent hub, it will require concentrated efforts from industry, government and academia to nurture partnerships and develop effective talent development roadmaps. As Ghosh said, “Cloud has moved from being a relative back-end to a front-end, in other words, business-facing technology, enabling on-demand access to resources. For India to carve itself a unique identity as a global hub for cloud solutions, a concentrated public-private partnership, and large-scale skilling is the key.”

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