The need for experienced IT employees is on the rise for businesses of all size, but finding the right people for the job is proving to be quite a challenge.
We are in the midst of what a 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey calls “the greatest technology skills shortage since the Great Recession,” wherein almost two-thirds of CIOs surveyed say they believe the lack of talent available will prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change in business IT. The lack of IT employees at the enterprise level could spell disaster for the SMB market, where the pay for IT talent isn’t as competitive and the breadth of skills needed to holistically manage an environment can be difficult to find.
Among SMB owners questioned in a 2016 SMB Insights survey released this spring, the decreasing unemployment rate (down from 9.3 percent in January of 2010 to 4.9 percent in January of 2016) has also meant stiffer competition for qualified talent. If the type of qualified talent you’re looking for is an IT person, the talent search is even tougher—particularly since IT staffers are already listed as one of the top 10 toughest jobs to fill. Tack on the fact that CIOs at enterprise-level businesses are often able to snag the top IT talent, and SMBs are finding themselves in a particularly tight spot:
What makes the scarcity of IT talent even more challenging for SMB owners is the increased reliance on new technologies in the workplace. In the 2016 SMB Insights survey, 73 percent of owners stated that mobility products bring revenue and increased productivity to SMBs in the form of increased employee productivity. Owners also stated that mobility products—like mobile devices—can decrease their IT costs (18 percent) and increase their sales and revenue (55 percent). The caveat? Implementing and maintaining mobility products in the workplace often requires the skillset of an IT person who can ensure proper setup and ongoing security for these devices.
The same caveat applies to the nearly 61 percent of SMB owners who plan on making brand and/or vendor changes in the next two years. Of this group, 36 percent plan on making changes to technology hardware (think computers and servers) and 30 percent plan on making changes to business software—but these are decisions SMB owners also state they prefer to have counsel on from the expert or department head. In the case of IT purchasing decisions, that counsel won’t exist if the position cannot be filled.
Fortunately, managed IT services offers another option for SMB owners who are struggling to fill vacant IT positions. Rather than relying on one or two internal IT staffers to handle all IT needs for the business, managed IT services will enable a business owner to offload decisions like what to buy, how to manage it, and how to make it work better to a seasoned IT professional in the business of managing IT decisions for SMBs. Plus, managed IT services providers can provide technology engineers with a variety of skillsets to help a business with whatever issue ails it—in short, managed services providers can offer greater IT expertise and often at a lower overall cost.
If you’re having a difficult time filling your IT opening, you can learn more about whether or not managed IT services is a good fit for your business by seeing our difference here.