According to research by Leadership Capital Group, a global executive search firm, demand for Senior Cloud (Digital) Executive searches are up 224 percent since March. The company reports the driver has been a rush to the cloud accelerated by the global pandemic. Due to the pandemic, Fortune 2000 and emerging-growth, companies are freeing up money that would normally be spent on marketing and shifting it to upgrading technology infrastructure and applications to the cloud.
Leading indicators of cloud demand were reported in quarterly (April-June period) earnings by Microsoft, whose financials beat the Street with cloud revenues topping $50 billion and IBM revenue beat estimates boosted by cloud demand.
Leadership Capital Group, which specializes in guiding information-intense businesses to realize human capital advantages, noted that there is an acute need for organizations to execute an effective cloud strategy. The increased search demand results are based on search requests globally from March 2020 to July 2020 compared with the same time period in 2019. As a reference point, Leadership Capital Group reported that search requests for cloud execs from calendar year 2018 to calendar year 2019 increased by 20 percent (which essentially kept pace with total cloud growth forecasted by Gartner in 2019), and from calendar year 2017 to calendar year 2018 by 16 percent.
Representative job titles for these executive cloud positions include Managing Director of Infrastructure Services, EVP of Infrastructure and Technology Operations, Head of Digital Products, EVP of AI, Chief Digital Revenue Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Executive Director of Cloud Services, SVP of Cloud, and Enterprise Cloud Security Strategy Leader. They noted that company boards are seeking candidates for traditional leadership roles at major companies, like CEO, President, or Chief Marketing Officer, be cloud-savvy.
“We have been seeing steady growth in search requests for senior cloud executives from low double digits to over 20 percent in the past three years. When COVID-19 hit, by April the demand had skyrocketed.” Marc Lewis, CEO of Leadership Capital Group said,
“Shifting to cloud services and aligning cloud strategy and implementation with business goals is a question of balance. Companies need to ask the hard question: ‘What does cloud transformation really mean?’ Is it just shutting down your server and migrating to a major provider, or is it strategically determining how to synchronize best business practices with what applications and infrastructure remain on premise, and which go to large and niche cloud service providers?” Lewis said.