The IT skills gap continues to be a roadblock that prevents organizations from meeting their technology objectives. In the 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report from Global Knowledge, 80 percent of IT decision-makers said they lack all the skills needed on their IT teams. That’s down one point from 81 percent in 2019, but no cause for celebration. Global Knowledge analysts simply believe the skills gap has reached its breaking point.

The reasons for the skills gap are complex. According to 45 percent of survey respondents, technology is changing so fast their organizations cannot keep up. Another 45 percent say it’s too hard to attract candidates with needed skills. Rounding out the Top 5 reasons, 42 percent say they haven’t invested enough in training, 37 percent say they can’t pay what candidates demand, and 35 percent say they’d hire more people if they could find qualified candidates.

Residency services can help bridge the skills gap by placing highly qualified experts at an organization’s location for short- or long-term assignments. From assessment and planning to new technology implementations to technical support, resident experts can help organizations meet their IT objectives quickly and efficiently.

Significant Tangible and Intangible Costs

The costs of the IT skills gap are substantial. According to IDC’s FutureScape: Worldwide Services 2020 Predictions, global monetary losses related to the skills gap will reach $775 billion by 2022. That’s up from $302 billion in 2019 — a 157 percent increase. By 2023, more than half of the global economy will be driven by digitally transformed enterprises, putting those that cannot keep pace at a competitive disadvantage.

The Global Knowledge study highlights the short-term costs of the IT skills gap. Two-thirds of IT decision-makers surveyed say their team loses three to nine hours of productivity per employee per week because they lack access to needed expertise. Assuming six hours per week and an average IT salary of $116,000, the cost is $17,400 per employee per year.

There are also significant “soft” costs. The skills gap causes increased stress on existing staff, according to 45 percent of respondents. Another 45 percent say it is difficult to meet quality objectives, and 42 percent say they cannot always meet business objectives. Projects take longer (37 percent), innovation suffers (35 percent), customer satisfaction declines (34 percent), and new hardware and software deployments are delayed (32 percent).

The Value of Resident Experts

There are a number of ways to address the IT skills gap, including training existing employees, hiring outside contractors and outsourcing IT support. All of these approaches can play a role in a well-rounded skills development strategy. However, nothing beats residency services for rapid access to the expertise needed to complete projects, address support challenges and maximize the return on technology investments.

Resident experts can provide a wide range of services, but perhaps the most valuable is the implementation of new technologies. The onsite expert can not only assist with the deployment of IT solutions but help ensure the successful operation and management of those solutions. Residents have the specialized skills needed to adjust configurations to ensure performance and develop and document operational processes according to industry best practices.

For companies that want to reward internal employees with new exciting projects, resident experts often backfill a current employee’s role while offering subject matter expertise and guidance. This allows internal IT teams to be an integral part of new initiatives while still keeping proprietary knowledge in-house for the long term. Rewarding employees with technical growth and challenge is a key contributor to eliminating unwanted turn over.

Technologent offers residency services that can help organizations overcome the IT skills gap with a wide variety of our client’s technology objectives. In our next post, we’ll discuss some of the other benefits of working with resident experts along with the broad range of professional services our team brings to the table.