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How organizations are addressing a growing IT talent gap

Organizations that prioritize agile digital infrastructure have been shown to achieve 1.8 times higher earnings growth than those eschewing or delaying digital transformation efforts.

In May 2021, Texas A&M University professor Anthony Klotz coined the “great resignation,” predicting a sustained mass exodus of employees. As we now know, he was right — we just didn’t know which roles would feel it most.

The IT workforce is no stranger to the talent shortage. If you’re finding it even more difficult to find and retain IT talent during the “great resignation,” you’re not alone. Currently, there are more than 3.9 million unfilled IT positions in the U.S., and as of March 2022, there were 2.5 million available cybersecurity positions.

Further, a reported 72% of employees working in tech/IT roles are considering quitting their jobs within the next year, compared to 55% of the overall U.S. workforce, according to a recent survey by TalentLMS and Workable.

Looking at the situation globally, Gartner reports that “only 29.1% of IT workers have high intent to stay with their current employer.” Gartner also found that IT retention issues varied by age demographics, with nearly 20% of IT workers ages 18–29 reporting a high likelihood to stay in their jobs, compared to approximately 48% of 50- to 70-year-olds.

So that leaves the question: Are organizations resigned to a revolving door and dearth of IT talent?

A reported 72% of tech/IT employees are considering quitting their jobs within the next year.

— TalentLMS and Workable, Retaining Tech Staff in the Era of the Great Resignation, 2021

Internal responses to try to attract and retain IT talent

In an effort to keep the IT talent they have and attract new recruits, many organizations have been listening to employee needs and responding. The organizational changes include offering fully remote options for all positions, more proactive development opportunities and enhanced benefits — from fitness and wellness perks to additional paid time off and expanded parental leave.

Companies are also offering significant financial incentives with generous signing and welcome bonuses — some at 5% of a role’s annual compensation — and even paying candidates just for interviewing, WIRED reports. Employees are also experiencing salary boosts. The average salary of U.S. tech positions increased by nearly 7% from 2020 to 2021, with even more significant increases in specialized tech areas.

The challenge, particularly within the historically talent-strapped IT field, is that when one or more IT employees leave the organization, it creates somewhat of a chain reaction. The staff departures put added strain on an already understaffed team, often leading to more resignations. This causes ripple effects throughout the organization, putting it at increased risk of cyberattacks, causing a slowdown or total elimination of solution rollouts and projects, stalled innovation, and longer downtimes and support times.

In the TalentLMS and Workable survey, 58% of the respondents said they suffer from job burnout. The research also found that those who suffer from burnout are twice as likely to quit their job than those who don’t, demonstrating the importance of having the right team in place.

Gartner suggests creating a human-centric workplace to help combat the “great resignation.” It’s “a workplace where purpose, innovation and performance thrive. It is about employees’ full life experience, not just about location and the supporting technology. It focuses on what impacts their ability to perform, to be productive and to give the discretionary efforts expected, regardless of where they are.”

But what are organizations supposed to do in the interim? And what if they implement all these changes and still struggle to find and retain the specialized IT talent they need?

Many are turning to managed services.

Managed services: The fail-safe for the IT talent shortage

For organizations that find the IT talent shortage is disrupting their day-to-day operations, customer experience, sales and digital transformation or evolution efforts, managed services offers a solution.

As a long-term, ongoing support model, managed services also offers peace of mind for those who don’t see the talent gap getting better any time soon.

Managed services provides a simple way to outsource system administration, solution maintenance and ongoing configuration optimization of your solutions, along with advanced enhancements such as integration, development and automation. A team of experts works in collaboration with your organization to support and advance your solutions, empowering your team to focus on more rewarding and valuable work.

With managed services, you can optimize resource distribution and utilization to increase your operational efficiency and profitability. According to a report from Mordor Intelligence, managed services helps reduce IT costs by an estimated 25–45%.

Research from the International Data Corporation found that for every 100 users, managed IT services could save businesses more than $375,000 annually and boost IT staff productivity by 42%.

Another draw to managed services is the pricing model. Most managed services engagements, including Hyland Managed Services, use monthly, subscription-based billing so organizations can more easily budget with a fixed, predictable and regular schedule. And, unlike other service engagements that might be time- or project-bound, managed services gives the assurance that the job will be done without fear of going “out of scope.”

Who is using managed services engagements? The short answer: Organizations of all sizes, across industries. However, recent research suggests SMEs are more heavily adopting this service model to solve for increased IT spending, internal specialized skill gaps, lagging digital evolution and cybersecurity risks.

The global managed services market is expected to grow to $354.8 billion by 2026, up from $242.9 billion in 2021, which aligns with current estimates that show managed services is being increasingly used across industries, from financial services to IT to government and other sectors.

With the variety of organization sizes and sectors looking for managed services, it’s no surprise that most vendors, Hyland included, have flexible tiered offerings. Companies can then pick the service level that’s right for their needs.

What does this mean for the future of IT talent?

The last three years have caused organizations to fundamentally rethink their workplace policies and structure.

This isn’t a pause and return to normal situation. It’s a seismic shift in workforce trends.

Companies can no longer assume that any one benefit, perk or even salary will be enough to attract and retain the workers they need. They are now thinking more holistically about benefits and culture to allow for more work-life harmony.

Employers who are finding success are listening to their employees’ challenges, issues and needs and then working to solve them. Organizations need to proactively address burnout before it reaches the critical point of chain-reaction resignations, and many companies are doing so with managed services.

There’s no one-size-fits-all checklist or playbook to deal with the issue, but one thing is for sure: Doing nothing will resign your organization to compounding challenges.

Explore Hyland Managed Services options and connect with Managed Services expert Ann Tutton by requesting a free consult so your organization can get — and stay — ahead.