In 2016, leading Microsoft recruitment partner, Curo Talent conducted research across 120 Microsoft partners to learn about the greatest challenges they are facing. Here, Greg Lombard, delivery lead at Curo Talent, explains how IT contractors can learn from data like this research and tailor their capabilities to meet industry demand.
Our 2016 research concluded that contractors skilled in Microsoft Azure were the hardest to source, with 23 per cent of Microsoft partners reporting problems in this area. This issue has arisen for two reasons, the first being that this is relatively new technology. The second is that Azure is now a central pillar of the Microsoft stack, so there is high demand to implement the technology.
In fact, demand is so high that Alex Bennet of Firebrand Training stated in an article on Microsoft's TechNet UK blog that 80 per cent of Microsoft customers had embraced the cloud. In addition, he explained that 66 per cent of Fortune 500 companies already relied on Azure to operate and he predicts that by 2020 the idea of a business without the cloud would be as rare as a business without the internet is now.
The move to the cloud and reliance on off-site data storage is driving demand for developers with new specialisms, particularly around implementing cloud solutions securely. Organisations such as banks and businesses handling sensitive information, need support to ensure data is not vulnerable to hackers and that their cloud systems are secure.
Supply and demand
IT contractors need to develop the necessary skills to fill gaps in the market. However, this doesn't mean you need to become a Jack of all trades. In fact, this approach will work against you.
The IT contractors we work with at Curo Talent who have their pick of projects are the ones that have selected a niche and worked to be the best in this area. For example, anyone that has invested the time in becoming an Azure specialist is currently in a very strong position.
This not only involves honing your skillset, you also have to stay up-to-date...