Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Shortage of skilled Canadian IT workers to reach 100,000 by 2016 – Will Impact Cloud Computing

According to a recent report released by IBM, the Information Technology industry in Canada will be more than 100,000 workers short, affecting as much as 60% of all business. The IBM 2012 Technology Trends Report indicates that, of organizations surveyed, only 10% have the IT skills needed in emerging technology areas, one being Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing is one of the fastest growing industries within IT. A report compiled by Forrester Research states that the global market for cloud computing will increase from $40.7 billion US spent in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020. IDC Canada says that the Canadian market will expand from $482 million to $1.39 billion in 2016.

And the Gartner Group, according to the IBM study, estimates “that ‘big data’, a field that incorporates both cloud computing and business analytics, will require 4.4 million employees by 2015, but due to a shortage in the skills required to work in that area of IT, only 1.5 million workers will be sufficiently prepared.”

What needs to be done to ward off this shortage? According to IBM, a rebalancing of IT skills needs to happen along with a readjustment in education in order for the Canadian workforce to fulfill these future needs. There are jobs available just not the skill set to fill them. The Canadian federal government recently announced that it is planning to admit between 53,000 and 55,000 new immigrants presumably with the appropriate skills which may offset some future demands. Another option is to retrain Canada’s unemployed. Only about 16% of these individuals have the necessary skills to meet future IT demands.

A combination of strategies, including these just mentioned, will be required to make a dent in the impending skills shortage. Without a significant change in the IT industry within the next few years, organizations may find themselves unable to fully move in new directions (i.e., Cloud Computing) required to sustain or expand their business.

By Irene Galan
Account Executive, Services Division


  1. Interesting read. It will be nice to have skilled IT Workers so much in demand over the next while.

  2. We hope that this year Information Technology Occupations will be on the skills shortage list,then we will finally be able to apply to Immigrate from South Africa to Canada! Crossing our fingers and toes!

  3. I think we need to learn from the trucking industry. Most of their problem began because they were not willing to hire new drivers, which lead to a massive shortage.It is nice to want someone with one or two years of experience, but they need to get that experience somewhere !