News & insights

Benefits of AWS in the West Midlands tech ecosystem

By Jack Stockport
Benefits of AWS in the West Midlands tech ecosystem

I’d like to share with you some thoughts and insight based on my observations on the ground here at SF Technology Solutions. I’ve specialised in tech recruitment for over 8 years now and have built a deep level of insight and knowledge of the tech eco system across the West Midlands. Here, I’ll delve into some of my thoughts around the benefits of AWS (Amazon Web Services) and observations of market trends relating to this in the West Midlands tech ecosystem.

Market Insight:

With a discernible increase in demand for AWS skills across the tech ecosystem in the West Midlands, it is clear that numerous businesses are recognising the benefits of cloud solutions. AWS is the most popular cloud platform, with its accessibility to training and certifications driving demand in the region.

For businesses, AWS offers flexibility and scalability, allowing them to quickly scale up or down as needed. The ability to rapidly deploy and manage applications in the cloud enables businesses to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.

For developers, upskilling in AWS means they can increase their value in the market and contribute to more projects that are cloud-based. This shift towards cloud deployment has reduced the demand for traditional DevOps roles, making way for mid to senior-level developers with AWS skills to take on more responsibility. In my experience, I’ve noted around a 70% uplift in AWS demand across all live vacancies between 2019 to present, this is a significant increase. The Mid to Senior functional programming (Python, Go, Elixir) vacancies are displaying the biggest uplift in demand for AWS skills whereas out and out DevOps roles are becoming less common as the market tightens as companies seek to increase ROI per head in their tech teams.

Conversely, Mid to Senior level Developers/ Engineers are upskilling in cloud deployment, thus increasing the need for AWS skills across the tech eco-system. This is thanks to the superior accessibility of AWS training & certifications (over Azure) and is driving this demand. Bootcamps are helping, but based on feedback from clients, the overall sentiment is that it will take graduates 3-4 years to build up valuable, operational skills. What would add real value is on-site problem-solving based training to help build that depth of regional expertise.

Here’s where I am seeing AWS utilisation across the tech ecosystem:

• Financial services – This sector has been slower to adopt AWS due to legacy tech stack and a more risk averse approach to on-premises to cloud migration projects.

• FinTech – The biggest users across my client base. Anecdotally, I would say 95% of my clients use AWS.

• Software/ Consultancy – Again a really big user. The ability to scale AWS solutions quickly for their client base drives this high utilisation.

• Manufacturing – A slow adopter due to a legacy mindset and bespoke software applications requiring on-premises solutions.

• Retail & E-Commerce – Huge sway in utilisation. I see clients such as:

GymShark, Lounge Underwear, ASOS, Huel etc all leading the way but other more traditional retailers still leaning heavily on on-premises solutions.

• Public Sector/ Regulatory bodies/ Education – Surprisingly, I have noticed a huge uplift in demand for AWS within this sector. University of Birmingham and the Solicitors Regulation Authority undertaking huge digital transformations using AWS. A real growth sub-sector

• Agencies/ Software houses – Strong uptake who like the PAYG solutions available in AWS that they can scale quickly if a client demand increases.

• Corporates/ PLC’s – An appetite for cloud solutions, but I am seeing cloud solution project spend reducing as BAU cost pressures are increasing.

Here are some anecdotal stats on my experience of AWS vacancy breakdown on uplift since 2019 to present:

• Architects (cloud/ infrastructure) -15% (this is comparably low since Architects have legacy cloud skills).

• Mid – Senior Software engineers – 30% (big uplift due to change in tech team structure).

• Full Stack JavaScript – 20% uplift. A lot of JavaScript Developers and now expected to be able to deploy their apps to the cloud).

• Enterprise Developer (Java, C++, C#) – 5%. A relatively small uplift due to the heavy utilization of enterprise languages with corporate, on premises clients.

Challenges of AWS:

Despite the many benefits of AWS, there are still some challenges that businesses face in the West Midlands. One of the main challenges is the lack of commercial experience in comparison to other regions, making it harder for businesses to find the right talent with the necessary skills.

A challenge for AWS is the slow adoption of cloud solutions in some sectors, such as manufacturing, due to a legacy mindset and bespoke software applications requiring on-premises solutions. This highlights the need for on-site problem-solving based training to help build that depth of regional expertise.


Overall, the increasing demand for AWS skills across the West Midlands tech ecosystem is a positive sign of growth and innovation. As more businesses recognise the benefits of cloud solutions and upskill their developers in AWS, we can expect to see more exciting and innovative projects coming out of the region. With the right training and support, the West Midlands has the potential to become a leading hub for cloud-based technology.

To discuss this, or any other tech / recruitment issues or opportunities you may have, feel free to get in touch with me Jack Stockport on 07809 204 399.

Jack Stockport
Jack Stockport
Senior Consultant