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Solving the IT Talent Shortage – Define Your Core and Leverage Outsourcing


Alvaro Prieto

Senior Managing Director of Technology Services, Founder

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Today, any CIO can tell you that one of their biggest concerns is the growing lack of IT talent in the market.  With the massive uptick in cloud and mobility in industries across the board, the demand for both highly specialized and more general IT skills is creating a huge headache for businesses that are trying to remain competitive.  Just look at any company’s job listing page and you’ll likely find that there are more openings for technology jobs than any other department.  In fact, in the IT security space alone, Cybersecurity Ventures issued a 2017 report claiming that the workforce shortage will reach 1.5 million by 2019, more than 209,000 jobs in the U.S. are currently unfilled and that postings are up 74 percent over the past five years.

According to Manpower’s 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey, employers reported the highest global talent shortage since 2007, with IT roles jumping 7 places to 2nd position. 

What’s driving this IT talent shortage?

Besides the growing number of jobs in IT that are being created every day and the lack of people with skills to fill them, professionals with good talent are also shopping around for the best deal.  Out of college, for instance, software developers are demanding starting salaries of up to $90K, and once they are hired they are bombarded with recruiting calls that offer to boost their pay rates by up to 20 to 25 percent, according to The Boston Globe.  Millennials, which make up a large majority of this talent pool, also expect flexible schedules and many more perks that middle market organizations simply don’t have the resources to provide.

The complexities of today’s IT

Today’s IT departments are tasked with many responsibilities, and companies are hard-pressed to find a few that can handle all. These include:

  • Procuring, building and managing the underlying infrastructure required to support increasingly   virtualized and cloudy environments
  • Securing networks and data and monitoring activity in highly distributed mobile and cloud ecosystems
  • Handling application and systems integrations and ensuring optimal application performance levels and interoperability
  • Troubleshooting inevitable desktop and mobile technology issues for employees and customers and managing user identities and permissions
  • Transforming IT with evolving business strategies to remain competitive and adapt to the digital transformation and industry-specific trends.

What are truly the core competencies of IT?

Finding, training and retaining the right IT talent is difficult and expensive, and many companies just cannot afford to do it right for every single role and position.

More and more, IT organizations need to clearly define what truly is their organization’s core competencies. These core competencies are the areas where the organization needs to increase its focus, resources and capabilities to drive business value. Everything else outside these core competencies needs to be performed in a manner which delivers the required level of service while maximizing efficiency and cost effectiveness and minimizing management focus. 

But the reality is that many organizations are trying to do too much and it has watered down their operational effectiveness and flexibility. The great majority of activities performed in most IT organizations do not truly add value to the product or services that the company is performing.  These activities must be done and must be done well, but they are not competitive differentiators and most do not meet the threshold of a core competency.

How an IT Outsourcing Partner Can Help

Once your organization has clearly defined what’s core and what’s not, you are probably going to identify talent shortages in both areas. 

An IT outsourcing partner can help you fill these shortages by leveraging their specialized teams with a comprehensive set of skills to plan, implement and manage different aspects of your operation at a fraction of your cost and time to execute. Most companies start by outsourcing “non-core” activities, but in reality as new technologies are appearing and resources are scarce, companies are also leveraging outsourcing to plug-in resources with a very specific technical skill even to support their core activities. 

While even large enterprises are definitely feeling the pinch from today’s IT talent shortage, small-to-medium-sized businesses with far fewer resources to attract top talent are impacted even more.  Without the right talent and expertise to Run, Grow or Transform your IT, businesses will have a difficult time staying afloat in today’s competitive world. Outsourcing is a proven solution to not only deal with the IT talent shortage, but to enable your business to reach its goals faster and more efficiently.

Some specific IT areas with talent shortage we’re seeing in the market include cloud computing (e.g. certified engineers in AWS or Azure), DevOps, and software development for multiple platforms (Java, .Net, SAP Hybris, etc.). Our firm, Auxis, has been able to successfully provide top talent in these areas and many others to North American organizations delivering on average +40% cost savings through our combined US-based/nearshore outsourcing model.