According to a 2015 talent shortage survey conducted by Manpower Group, hiring managers around the globe agree that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled IT professional to fill vacant positions. In fact, it ranks 9th as the hardest job to staff. From a variety of causes, everything from an overall lack of relevant education to the debilitating recession which led many organisations to cut expenditures in training and development, many businesses now find themselves facing a serious IT crisis. And, the problem isn’t just in the EU, this shortage has become a worldwide dilemma.
Dealing with increasing needs for mobile and broadband communications, network usage is expanding to proportions that no one anticipated five years ago, and the subsequent lack of IT development is fuelling business frustrations. But, rather than deplore the current skills shortage, why not look for temporary and long-term solutions that will help eliminate the problem for your company, whilst letting your provider worry about virtualisation strategies that solve inefficient network infrastructure designs?
The Current Reality
Under-staffed IT departments are basically just maintaining the status quo. There are practically no new developments being introduced. Social media presence, real-time data integration, and massive queues of support tickets are only a few of the causalities. Therefore, many organisations are instituting some rather inventive ways to counteract the problems like:
- – Increasing the responsibilities and tasks of current staff members. Drawback: High rate of burn-out and subsequent turnover.
- – Employing contract or temporary workers. Drawback: High costs and gaps when temporary workers relocate creating a sort of knowledge exodus.
- – Partnering with companion organisations to offset staffing shortages. Drawback: Lack of reliability
With these, and other stop gap solutions, it is no wonder why salaries and demand for skilled IT workers are skyrocketing.
Workable Short-term Solutions
The expanding need for wireless connectivity hasn’t just made problems, of course. There are a number of automated and outsourcing solutions that can help your business overcome the IT skills shortage. Cloud computing designed for infrastructures and platforms are being developed, along with software that helps automate and ensure critical-mission applications like email and other interoffice communications, as well as accounting and even complex work processes.
Outsourcing these type of functions to a cloud network provider can give businesses the IT tools they need to maintain secure operations in an ever increasing mobile (and global) workplace, at a cost-efficient level.
Products such as Office 365 offer agility that can empower your mobile workforce, and Skype for Business gives you secure, yet, cost-effective solutions for video conferencing with your global customers, suppliers, and contacts. Indeed, many of these short-term solutions are perfectly effective for small to mid-size businesses, and can be used as a permanent solution to a dedicated IT staff.
But, as your service needs grow, your provider must be able to meet your expanding needs. Look for a provider who offers scalable services.
Developing long-term solutions for the skills shortage means that your business will need to take development steps that will help change this dynamic. Since everything starts with education, you can take some simple steps that will deliver dividends down the road.
- – Invest in People: Spend a little more time on your training and retention strategies, and outsource out-of-the-box software solutions that can free up your IT personnel for more advanced application development.
- – Segment Applications: Segmenting your business applications according to function can help alleviate the overload on your IT staff. Standard processes are relatively stable, but applications that support differentiating processes can change rapidly, and thus, need more attention.
- – Look to the Cloud: Paas (platform as a service) solutions can help with your own infrastructure by providing massively scalable, complex applications that can easily integrate with existing systems. A cloud-based platform will incredibly simplify getting an application into production.
Whilst it will certainly take time to remedy the IT skills shortage, there are many resources that you can use right now to help overcome it for your business.