SoftwareOne, a leading global software and cloud solutions provider, has released further findings from its Cloud Skills Report, highlighting the need to bridge the Human-Machine divide. The biggest pain point for companies in their digital transformation efforts is ensuring employee skills growth matches the rapid rate of innovation. Nearly two-thirds (62%) report currently having inadequate skills to leverage AI and 41% of organizations are struggling to find AI skilled employees.

The research underscores a pressing reality: prioritizing close collaboration between human workers and advanced technologies is paramount amidst a widening cloud skills gap and apprehension around AI. This symbiotic relationship is set to redefine organizational dynamics, with 97% of organizations planning to prioritize upskilling their workforce according to the research.

The cloud skills shortage has increased the individual workloads of 62% of respondents, and led to significant repercussions, including burnout and high turnover rates within departments. Notably, almost a quarter of global IT managers (23%) are contemplating quitting due to the skills gap, while a staggering 84% of companies perceive IT retention issues as a significant challenge.

But these retention issues are compounded by conflicts within teams. 34% of respondents said that the cloud skills gap has caused tension between themselves and their boss, while 42% say it has caused tension within the team. And one in five (22%) of respondents said they don’t feel comfortable asking for additional training to advance their skills.

“Rapid advancements in AI and generative AI offer exciting prospects for companies worldwide, but organizations are sitting on a ticking talent time bomb if they don’t upskill and retrain their workforces now to fulfil the potential of AI,” said Brian Duffy, CEO at SoftwareOne. “Our research shows the overwhelming majority of organizations are planning to upskill their IT teams in order to fast-track AI adoption and accelerate the cloud journey. By putting people at the center and showcasing how these innovations can enhance their roles rather than pose threats, organizations can cultivate a culture of empowerment and optimism that helps to increase retention, boost productivity and make work more meaningful.”