What Does Your IT Workforce Look Like?

IT technicianThe IT workforce is changing, and IT leaders will need to find ways to optimize their workers in the face of the changing landscape. Compared with just four or five years ago, there are many more forces shaping the IT workforce. Cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) and continued outsourcing of IT services all have an effect on what the internal IT workforce can and will be doing in the future.

PREMIUM RESEARCH: IT staffing Growth Update April 2013

At the last two companies where I was in charge of the global IT workforce, we consciously built it to be able to handle the day-to-day problems and “slightly more”. That meant the IT folks could deal with all of the usual problems with computer equipment, network connections and applications and knew who to contact for assistance when the issues were more complicated.

We depended on outsourced resources for transitional projects that, once installed or completed, were handed off to internal resources to run and maintain. This gave us a very cost-effective IT workforce budget.

The process included identifying the services that would be performed internally and those that would be outsourced.

But now, resources on demand that are available through companies like oDesk and Elance will meet the needs for highly skilled IT workers in many small and midsize companies.

PREMIUM RESEARCH: Who’s Buying Online Staffing?

This is where all this is leading: keeping IT talent on staff will become much more difficult because there is no longer an upward career path in IT. One possible answer to this dilemma would be to begin to engage the IT workers with specific business areas so they can gain more business knowledge. As the IT workers learn how the business operates they can begin to apply technology to improve the business processes by bridging the gap between what technology is available and what new and existing business needs could be met by using that technology.

How do you handle your internal IT needs for different projects? I would love to hear what you are doing. Comment below.

MORE: A look at what’s driving IT staffing’s growth

Lee Penning
Lee Penning is CIO of Collabworks Inc., inventor of the People Cloud. He can be reached at lee (dot) penning (at) collabworks (dot) com.

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