The IT skills shortage is reaching crisis levels as businesses embrace digital-first and omnichannel strategies to compete with digital natives. Many companies cite a shortage of skilled staff as their chief roadblock to digitization. But it doesn’t have to be.
Lack of Expertise Keeps Firms on Prem
Software developer is among the four most in-demand professions in the US in 2022, a position that is unlikely to change as companies increase cloud spending and embrace digital transformation strategies. And as demand for public cloud services skyrockets, tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft are dramatically expanding their workforces. This leaves other companies struggling to staff key IT positions and, in some cases, putting digitization efforts on hold.
Did You Know? More than 70% of IT leaders around the globe say the IT skills shortage is an urgent concern.
Cloud goals and strategies aren’t even safe at businesses with fully staffed IT departments. Your IT team faces a never-ending barrage of requests from team members with competing priorities, while also working to stay current on new technological innovations and complete routine maintenance tasks. It can be a thankless job. As competition to attract and retain in-demand experts heats up, you shouldn’t assume that your skilled team won’t be lured away. But how can you ensure your company always has the expertise needed to support innovation and maintain your competitive edge, today and in the future?
Maintain Your Expertise While Hiring
The most obvious way to ensure your company isn’t hampered by the IT skills shortage is to keep hiring IT staff. The success of this strategy will depend heavily on your budget to do so, since you’ll be competing with nearly all of the corporate world to attract and retain employees with the skills and experience you need.
This tactic, despite its popularity, is not without its downsides:
- It can be costly. You’ll need to be prepared to counter offers from massive corporations with deep pockets if you hope to win the most skilled staff.
- Success rates vary. There’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed in securing the talent you need, and if you do, other organizations may soon lure your experts away.
- It’s disruptive. Onboarding new team members always involves some disruption – and repeated disruptions will negatively impact your innovation and modernization efforts.
Pro Tip: If you do opt for this strategy, put in the effort to make yourself an employer of choice. Take the time to understand your existing teams’ needs and support them with the tools they need to succeed. Build careers instead of simply filling vacancies.
Train Employees with Less Experience
Competing with corporate giants isn’t easy, so you might feel like your company will be better served getting out of the bidding war and instead focusing your efforts on training less experienced employees to protect against the IT skills shortage.
While this strategy avoids shelling out large amounts to cover the salaries of one or two expert players, it also comes with caveats.
- It’s still not inexpensive. Instead of paying top dollar for the expertise you need, you’ll have to invest time and money into training to ensure your team has the required skills.
- Results don’t always last. Once you get your staff to an expert level, you’re back to the previous issue: they’re in demand and you’ll have to fight to retain them.
- Training takes time. Developing expertise doesn’t happen overnight, and all the time spent on training is time your competitors are gaining an advantage.
Pro Tip: This tactic works best if you tap into existing potential on your team. Try to be a bit more flexible about employment and educational experience. Encourage cross-training and offer opportunities to employees that show promise.
Uptrain Employees for Day-to-Day Efficiencies
Eliminating your dependence on experts for daily operations may seem like an unlikely way to address the global IT skills shortage, but it can be the most effective. Investing in technological solutions that reduce reliance on specific team members can eliminate many of the challenges associated with hiring or training staff and offer some unique benefits.
- Disruptions are minimized. The risk of operational disruptions drops significantly when processes don’t hinge on a small group of people with unique knowledge.
- Scaling up is effortless. Technological investments can allow operations to grow and shift without significantly changing the demand on expert staff.
- Your IT team benefits. This tactic lets senior specialists focus on challenging innovation tasks they enjoy most and junior workers execute less complicated assignments while still collaborating with experts to learn and grow.
- It’s future-proof. Even the most highly skilled, loyal team members will eventually retire. Reducing dependency on experts means you can leverage their expertise for innovation now and you won’t be stranded when they leave.
Pro Tip: A cloud-based “as-a-service” solution allows you to invest in technology that reduces your exposure to the IT skills shortage without a huge upfront investment or long-term commitment.
Integration Drives Innovation
The benefits of integration are extensive and innovative. The modern integration architecture of an enterprise-integration-as-a-service solution helps your organization expedite digital transformation and cloud migration projects with a more responsive, agile environment. Data from different systems is integrated into a single, unified view of the business, further accelerating the pace of innovation.
The benefits of pivoting to an iPaas for enterprise instead of focusing on hiring and retention include:
- It’s simple. Low-code integration models streamline workflows so junior developers can handle routine tasks, freeing experts to focus on more high-value projects.
- It’s seamless. An iPaaS solution that is data- and system-agnostic facilitates uninterrupted integrations between legacy systems and modern applications to support a digital-first strategy.
- It’s scalable. The cloud-native architecture of an enterprise integration platform (iPaaS) allows for nearly unlimited scalability and flexibility and simultaneously reduces support and maintenance requirements.
Digibee Helps Solve the Talent Shortfall
Digibee’s iPaaS solution helps bridge the gap between existing integrating systems and new technologies, connecting data and platforms regardless of the amount of integration experts on staff. With Digibee, you can optimize productivity across your entire IT team, reducing your dependence on one or two experts and guarding against the effects of a global IT skills shortage.
To learn more about our accelerating integration and how to determine what stage your business is at, request a demo with our team today.