IT talent shortage challenges insurers, cloud tech

According to a survey sponsored by Rackspace Technology, 51% of insurance IT executives say the IT talent shortage is a top concern for the business.

Talent attraction, employee retention and salary inflation add to this staffing challenge in the insurance space. The survey, conducted with more than 1,400 IT leaders in the financial and insurance industries, suggests that cloud 2.0 technology can alleviate the difficulties of the talent shortage through accelerated and improved digital processes.

The survey notes a number of barriers IT leaders are struggling to overcome from the ongoing talent challenge – survey responses include 65% of IT projects being delayed due to staffing shortages, and 64% of IT leaders indicating their staff has experienced burnout . The survey also included ways management actively attracts talent: 38% provide training opportunities, 32% incentivize with salary increases, and 39% offer flexible hybrid or remote work schedules, as 78% of leaders say their employees prefer to work from home.

Jeff DeWerter, chief technology evangelist at Rackspace Technology, explains that he also wanted to include questions about cloud technology in relation to the talent challenge. DeWerter says, “I asked a question [the survey] this is really interesting to note. And the question was, “Can you imagine a time in the next five years when your company won’t own a data center?”

Fifty-four percent of respondents report that they do not plan to own an enterprise data center in the next five years because adopting serverless computing is a top priority, and 5 percent of insurers say they no longer own a data center.

“More than half came back and said, ‘Yes, we envisioned a time when we wouldn’t own a data center,'” notes DeWerter.

When asked how cloud technology improves business efficiency, 46% of respondents say the cloud increases the speed of testing and delivering products or services, and 53% say the technology simplifies and improves customer experiences.

However, security is still the top barrier for 45% of insurers to overcome when choosing a cloud environment, and 36% say they lack the in-house skills to adopt and support the cloud.

“Here comes the problem. There is only one set of people who can make these things work. And that’s the technical talent,” DeVerter states, “They become some of the most important people in the organization because, again, the technology is not just a bunch of servers supporting the operation. That’s at the heart of everything that’s going on, and so having people who can have that conversation and manage that becomes important.”

DeVerter explains that the initial hurdle in finding IT staff starts with attracting talent with technology like the cloud – digitalization is leading to improved, accelerated and streamlined processes that will attract IT talent.

“Especially in industries like insurance that are filled with manual processes, the staff that are being hired today, these younger staff, are far more technically literate than anyone we’ve ever hired in the business today,” he states, “They they are looking for ways to tie things together in ways that make their day easier, make their business better and be more efficient. Automation of robotic processes is key to this.”

With more than half of insurers planning to move to serverless computing in the next five years, insurance IT leaders must consider how to incorporate digital improvements into their business. DeWerter states, “I would encourage leadership in industries, especially in this one, to really consider how you get [technology] closer to business.”

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