Attract quality resources, create high performers, retain the best IT talent.
Good news! The unemployment rate in tech is nearly zero. In fact, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nearly a half million new tech jobs that didn’t exist in 2014 will be created by 2024. The bad news? High demand and short supply mean CIOs and senior IT leaders across industries, from companies of all sizes, are faced off in a seemingly endless battle to hire capable IT talent.
For today’s CIOs, acquiring and retaining talent is seen as the biggest challenge standing in the way of achieving business objectives and driving strategic goals. In fact, 66 percent of CIOs surveyed for the 2016 Gartner CIO Agenda report agree that the current scarcity of IT talent has the potential to reach “crisis” proportions.
The crisis goes beyond simple scarcity of suitable candidates. The IT organization may be chronically short-handed, due to open requisitions or constant turnover. There is no time to do more than merely “perform” – and the opportunity is lost to truly “transform.” The IT organization begins to stagnate. And that affects the performance of the enterprise.
Engage or fail
Mushrooming demand for IT talent has shifted the balance of power from the employer to the job seeker. Adding to that challenge, the modern workforce is more fluid. Gallup recently reported that an astonishing 51 percent of employed workers are actively looking for new opportunities or watching for openings. Today’s workers of all age groups have been seen to behave more like “freelance artisans” or employee entrepreneurs.
Research shows that these people thrive by pursuing projects that promise discovery and growth:
- Growth and development is the second strongest engagement driver after belief in senior leadership.
- People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs.
- Employees who are ‘engaged and thriving’ are 59% less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months.
New requirement for business: talent innovation
In this environment, CIOs need new approaches to hiring and keeping top talent.
How do you keep your current IT staff engaged? Are you enabling your key people to deliver value and leverage their capacity to contribute? Or, are you letting these employees cost you money, because your organization is not advanced enough to allow them to drive innovation and grow their careers?
Sure, we all know that IT resources want to work with the latest and greatest technologies. Pay and perks are important. But over and over, research shows that those are not the most important drivers of employee engagement and performance.
Offering employees innovative ways to pursue their potential helps them unlock innovation across the business. To win in this crisis, technology leaders must create the kinds of projects and environments that will attract and engage creative resources.
Partnering to unleash innovation
More and more, itelligence clients are relying on their partnerships with us to help them co-develop, co-implement and run their SAP application portfolio. The changing skill sets required to run SAP, along with a need to more quickly implement business solutions, means organizations must take a proactive, fluid approach to their SAP talent situations. We are seeing more hybrid IT structures that leverage internal and external talent provide a win-win for business IT.
While internal IT and business teams have the business knowledge, the external partners bring the SAP technology skills, best practices and industry solutions knowledge to the table. Managed services and support offerings that have developed highly capable and flexible delivery models can provide the flexibility to support internal teams in meeting these challenges and keeping up with changing business requirements. This approach supports faster learning curves for internal IT teams, and naturally opens up opportunities for them to focus on more strategic – and engaging – projects and activities.
The IT talent crisis = danger + opportunity
Attracting and retaining the talent to move your organization forward in your SAP journey will be your biggest challenge now and for the next several years. What talent do you need in-house and where do you leverage partners? Do you need technicians, business analysts or both?
The impact of accepting the status quo – being willing to merely perform instead of transform – at the expense of business innovation will be costly. It goes beyond the IT department, to the heart of the health and legacy of a corporation.
CIOs and senior IT leadership are elegantly placed to help their companies win in the connected economy. CIOs have the technical, project management, vendor management, and integration expertise to create cross-departmental teams, plug into the business priorities of sales, marketing, finance and operations peers, and truly lead digital transformation. But they need the right people to make it so. Innovation starts with talent – what an opportunity.
Don’t let this costly pitfall kill your company’s competitive advantage. Get your free itelligence industry thought leadership white paper: Is your IT organization transforming – or merely performing?