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Many companies are investing in cloud and AI to spur on their business

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Getting a higher-paid job could well come down to your knowledge of specific tech areas, according to new research from Sage that found firms are willing to spend money on staff that are familiar with cloud and AI.

With cloud storage being a point of focus for the industry at large, it's no surprise that just under two fifths - 39% - of UK resellers picked cloud computing as a key skill for new hires, while 44% of US respondents cited experience with AI or ML development.

Skills such as data engineering, cyber security skills, and coding were found to be in high demand among US employers, and were cited by 52%, 48%, and 45% respectively.

What’s troubling employers?

Sage’s research collected 1,000 responses from decision-makers in the tech industry whose company resells tech and IT supplies or services, with 500 respondents within the UK and 500 within the US.

The new study shows that challenges in finding and keeping talent are hitting the channel sector, with the pinch mostly being felt by US resellers.

Half of all US respondents that are currently in the process of recruiting noted difficulty finding skilled management level staff, while 49% also cited difficulty attracting skilled entry level talent.

Competition was only slightly less severe within the UK, with 46% and 40% also struggling to source at these levels. 

How are resellers reacting?

Over the past 18 months alone, 39% of the 1000 channel resellers surveyed have invested resources to technically upskill their workforce according to Sage, while 36% adopted greater ecommerce functionality during the same period. 

The vendor’s research also delved into where this investment is likely to land.

The resellers surveyed predicted that by 2024, services requiring more specific technical expertise such as cybersecurity service provision (40%), SaaS application management (38%)  will be among those most demanded by clients.

Looking more closely at cloud hosting related skills, public cloud consumption was cited by 33% of respondents. 

In addition, the research found almost one-third (30%) also believe that customers will be looking to specifically increase the efficiency, intelligence and automation of their business processes or operations (BPO).  

When predicting areas of investment for their customers over the coming months, almost half (49%) of those Sage surveyed believe customers will look to grow their data centre management revenue, while 40% have a sharp focus on generating revenues from data analytics and AI software enablement.   

“Customers are looking to their channel partners to help make digitalization a reality as they embrace new revenue streams and invest with an eye on the future. They are being asked to provide expertise in the most complex technological areas – from protection against the latest cyber threats to the enablement of AI and ML,” said Aziz Benmalek, President, Sage North America, and Executive Vice President Global Partner Organization. 

“This requires the channel workforce to shift – at Sage we are prioritising providing our channel partners with the tools and technology tools needed to thrive.” 

Will McCurdy

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.