Cloud technology adoption among Australian business has risen to 57 per cent during the pandemic, creating a surge of new job opportunities.

The size of the total cloud market exceeded $1 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent on the back of a COVID boom driven by technology investment, according to research by tech analysts Telsyte.

The demand for IT professionals is being driven by the evolving need to shift to hybrid working models, particularly given the growth in cloud technology.

Rackspace Technology is one of the many cloud firms capitalising on this growth.

Revenue for the second quarter is expected to be in the range of $741 to $744 million, with a range of new jobs on the horizon.

The business, which boasts equality (50 per cent) in the technology leadership team, is an end-to-end multi-cloud technology services company.

It designs, builds and operates its customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms, irrespective of technology stack or deployment model.

One of the drivers of this female push is Melburnian Angela Logan-Bell, who is the director of strategic partnerships and alliances, Asia Pacific and Japan.

“What I love about cloud is its complexity and pace. You’re often mirroring the pace of Microsoft and our other partners.

“So the pace of innovation, the new technology, the drive within the organisation is really exciting,” she said.

“The people who work in cloud have adapted pretty well to COVID because we’re comfortable with being uncomfortable.

“And as challenging as it is, it makes sense for us to look for ways to pivot and try new approaches. Nothing ever stays the same.”

Rackspace went through a restructure in July, laying off 10 per cent (700 staff) of its workforce and shifted its focus towards faster-growing produce and service offerings.

Logan-Bell confirmed that the company is currently hiring cloud engineers, a range of technical roles, DevOps, security, AWS specialists and other cloud roles.

“Regionally, we’re punching well above our weight, but there’s a huge skills shortage of talent that can work with customers,” she said.

While the cloud industry was parochial in the past, it’s very much democratised by skills these days.

“Those old world technical skills such as desktop support or hardware administration just aren’t sought after anymore.

“We need to get new talent in fast, and the barriers to entry have been removed, particularly if you’re focusing your skills in the right areas,” said Logan-Bell.

While a university degree is a great start for the theory involved to land a career in the cloud industry, to really stand out, she suggests that candidates consider putting themselves through a couple of courses such as the AWS certification or a course with Azure, which may well open new career doors into cloud, she said.

These cost around $500, she added.

When hiring, Logan-Bell said she’s looking for someone with self awareness, with a good cultural fit and the right attitude.

While STEM skills are important, these need to be balanced out by human interaction skills and behavioural qualities, she said.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you can’t communicate with another human being effectively, it’s not going to work,” she said.

Soft skills required for the role include self-awareness, particularly if the person she’s hiring will be working directly with customers.