What’s the key challenge to IT transformation? Accordingly to a recent Forbes Insights’ report it’s the IT skills shortage that’s holding organisations back. 50% of respondents cite IT skills shortages and training as a significant barrier.
Without the right resources and technology, organisations find it difficult to scale, expand into new markets, reach more customers, and compete. In fact, many organisations are not only competing with other companies for business; they’re competing with each other to recruit IT professionals with the skills they need to implement business strategies and achieve goals.
So how can you solve the IT skills shortage in your organisation? The following tips could help:
3 Tips To Solve The IT Skills Shortage
Recruit for potential as well as hard and fast IT skills
As technology is evolving at such a rapid pace, it is increasingly difficult for companies and IT professionals to keep their skills up-to-date. Therefore, it follows that in many cases it is more important to recruit people who are adaptable and good at learning new skills, than people who are highly proficient in just one area.
Of course you need individuals that can do the job, but don’t dismiss candidates that have potential, are problem-solvers, creative and can demonstrate that they can learn new skills quickly and keep pace with change. Then have learning & development programmes in place to ensure new recruits, and existing staff, get the training they and your business needs.
Align IT recruitment and L&D programmes with future business needs
Look to the future and get a picture of what skills will be important to your organisation in the future, not just to fill the current skills gap. While you can’t ignore your existing staffing challenges, you can put in place strategies now to minimise future skills shortages.
With a bit of foresight, identify the skills and specialisations that your organisation will require to achieve business goals. For example, is AI going to change the way your business works or engages with customers? If so, now’s the time to invest in training and develop strategies for getting the right skills in your team for when you need them.
Explore alternative ways of solving the IT skills gap
Do you actually need to recruit or train staff to plug the skills gap? Do you need people in-house with those skills or could you look at IT outsourcing? Potentially you could look at outsourced IT support that outsources the whole of your IT department to an IT services provider, accessing the skills and support your organisation needs whenever you need them.
That ‘all in’ approach may not be for you, but you could explore outsourcing specific functions to either access skills you don’t currently have, or free up your existing team’s time to focus on their core strengths. For example, outsourcing IT support, your service desk, to enable your IT team to work on more strategic projects. With IT support for business you could then be in a position to invest more in existing staff to ensure they have the skills your organisation needs for driving the business forward.
The cost benefits of outsourcing, in most instances it is cheaper to outsource a function like service desk than staff it effectively in-house, can have a positive impact on IT budgets. That ‘spare cash’ could be invested in training or give you the ability to compete in the IT recruitment marketplace for the skilled candidates you need.
For more on IT outsourcing, download our factsheet below that lists the key benefits of this business model: 'The Benefits of Outsourcing'
Any questions? Get in touch with me or the UKN Group, we’d be delighted to help.