The IT Talent Battle: Tech Pros Need More Than Gimmicks

5 minute read | 23 Nov 2022

By Arun Pareek

Current economic headwinds, staff shortages, and critical skills gaps are taking their toll on research and development (R&D) and ultimately innovation. Business leaders are under pressure to execute critical initiatives quickly, but are impeded by roadblocks often out of their control.

The C-suite at most organizations is responding to turbulent conditions with increased digitalization, but leaders are often grappling to catch their breaths as implementing tech initiatives – and the operational and culture changes that come with them – gets frantic.

With many organizations realizing they lack the IT staff to make the most of planned investments, it has become apparent the road to address the gap between tech ambition and execution is going to be a very long one, and the chasm between demand and supply of talent will widen before it contracts.

The challenge is only going to compound with the level of competition for skilled tech workers, with employers competing on rising salary demands. In fact, a report found IT professionals in the Asia-Pacific region had the biggest increase in pay in 2021 compared to every other region in the world. While great news for the workforce, business leaders are constantly juggling pressures of hiring, onboarding, enablement, and retention.

Finding and retaining staff among this judicious IT workforce takes a mindset molded around employee experience. Not the gimmicky kind often plastered throughout LinkedIn, but a foundational rework of operations that makes your teams integral to each business decision.

Digital Debt?

It’s a big feat – the average enterprise currently houses more than 850 cloud applications, and IDC forecasts total worldwide spending on cloud services will surpass $1.3 trillion by 2025. Dealing with the pandemic spurred significant new software uptake, and IT teams have been left connecting all the digital spaghetti.

Given technology skills are strained, it’s down to companies to simplify how IT teams manage the influx of cloud services and apps they now need. If they burden their skilled IT staff with managing excessive integrations, manually applying patches, and performing repetitive administrative or other low-value manual tasks, it won’t be long before those employees look for a better proposition – and often with a competitor.

A recent APAC State of Digital Transformation report found almost a third of IT teams continue to battle the challenge of managing technical debt. Meanwhile, Dynatrace found IT teams are spending almost half their time just keeping the lights on.

With so many touchpoints in a technology ecosystem, removing the operational burdens of architecture helps retain current technical staff as it frees their time to work on innovative projects. It also boosts recruitment initiatives and provides opportunities for skills development as prospective hires won’t have their talents wasted on grunt work.

It’s part and parcel of ‘NoOps’, and starts with two key steps. First, using AI, automation, and other cloud-enabled tools. Second, figuring out what parts of IT should be managed internally and what’s best left to a partner.

Think About Thinking

Moving to a fully managed NoOps strategy stands to boost operational efficiencies and redirect valuable IT resources to more innovative, business value-driven projects, but also drive agility, reduce risks, and increase job satisfaction.

NoOps also allows scale and rigor. A university or retailer can lean on the flexibility of a managed service to manage seasonality amid enrollment cycles and holiday periods, respectively. Similarly, structure and process can assist government agencies and not-for-profit (NFP) organizations that are required to meet regulatory and compliance obligations.

Boomi’s Managed Cloud Services (MCS) arm is built to ensure these outcomes are available to all organizations, providing a ready-built, tried and tested cloud solution without forcing them to dedicate extensive resources to keep it running. We supplement this with a certification program for those who want to understand and own the secure management of data; it’s a scheme that has been completed by more than 60,000 people at customer organizations.

In one example, a leading university partnered with Boomi MCS to reduce workload of its IT staff, and give each campus its own workspace in a larger cloud environment. With MCS, IT administrators no longer deal with the burden of provisioning and patching infrastructure, and campuses enjoy their own highly-available and scalable online workspace. The result: fast, scalable cloud adoption managed directly through line of business (LOB) budgets

Asia Pacific and Australia have already seen evidence of the damage caused by the skills gap. By adapting how they think about and approach IT operations, and leveraging the expertise of the right partner, leaders will help their tech pros drive greater value to the company, and give them more reason to stick around long term.