May 15, 2023
Three Reasons Why Businesses Need IT Workforce Support
IT teams across business sectors are impacted by IT workforce shortages or need additional support that varies in size and scope daily. Let’s dive into three reasons businesses need IT workforce support and how CDW can help.
IT workforce shortages are impacting teams across business sectors, and the need for additional support can vary in size and scope daily. Let’s dive into three reasons businesses need IT workforce support and how CDW can help.
As the demand for technical professionals rises, so do skill gaps with rapid advancement toward future-state IT.
If you assumed that the demand for IT professionals is dwindling after reading headlines about the more than 75,000 layoffs by tech giants during the first quarter of 2023, you’d be wrong.
According to a recent Gartner report, most of the recent tech layoffs “are in business functions, rather than tech roles” and have been attributed to companies “seeking to optimize share prices and to satisfy shareholders’ desire for reduced spending.” While it may come as a surprise, Gartner reports, “the companies behind the 10 largest layoffs in tech talent still employ over 150,000 more people in total than at the beginning of 2020.”
All things considered, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics still predicts that “employment for software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers is projected to grow 25 percent from 2021 to 2031,” faster than average for all occupations. That’s right, computer occupation demand is outpacing availability.
It doesn’t take much for a company to go from being staffed to understaffed and outpaced by future-state IT advancements that need to be made. Imagine needing to adopt cloud for business reasons but not having the roles for it. What do you do? Outsource operations? Hire? Train? Do you know where to begin or have the time and resources to tackle that undertaking?
CDW’s biggest strength is its flexibility. In this scenario, CDW has the capabilities to:
- Manage it all. CDW can easily assume the roles and responsibilities of shifting a company to the cloud and manage it all. If you want to get out of IT operations and retain the architecture decisions, CDW has a lot of experience migrating things.
- Consult, train and help augment for a period. If your business doesn’t want to outsource operations, no problem. CDW understands that sometimes it doesn’t take much to get certain roles where they need to be. If you have a skills gap that doesn’t translate to a people gap, CDW can bring in a team that is proficient in whatever technical areas you’re experiencing a skills gap. In addition, a dedicated person on retainer could serve as a consultant to help augment for a short period of time, train your team in the skills they need and back away.
- Provide staff with the option to hire full-time and/or pull resources. If time is of the essence and you need to move to the cloud now and don’t have time to train your people, CDW can staff you out and offer you the capability to hire that staff full-time. If you decide to pull those resources after you start to get staffed, you could do that too. So, you can execute things now during a compelling event, but you aren’t stuck in a long-term contract.
- Provide technology recruiting and staffing. If you’re looking to build a cloud team or hire for a niche role, CDW can assist. In February 2023, CDW acquired Locus, which has allowed CDW to expand our access to scarce talent to meet the needs of our customers. CDW can provide staffing and consulting, which includes staffing for a project, and help businesses recruit and hire seasoned talent.
The capabilities your company needs are not your superpower.
Sometimes the capabilities your company needs are not your superpower, but if that capability is cybersecurity, you cannot afford to let it fall to the wayside. In business sectors like education, security is paramount, and it is becoming more important as schools hand out technology. Personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information and private finance initiatives are very attractive bait for bad actors.
School districts across the U.S. are making headlines for falling victim to ransomware attacks, which can result in school closures, the loss of PII to bad actors who release that information onto the dark web and more. Imagine what would happen if a school district permanently lost access to the systems that hold its finances, PII for students and staff, grades, etc. A ransomware attack on that scale would have a huge impact on current students and faculty, barring access to lesson plans. It would also cause a major roadblock for students seeking records to apply for college and any former students seeking records.
You might ask yourself, why is this happening? What am I or these schools missing? First, it’s important to note that cybercrime is organized crime, and sometimes the bad actors trying to access your information can be foreign governments. So, you could be dealing with a myriad of things.
When it comes to cybersecurity, there are two major areas IT teams and business leaders miss:
- A solid understanding of the business value of their data.
- Understanding the requirements of their data privacy and security and how to create an appropriate security program to accommodate them.
Understanding those two things ties value — money and reputation — to your data. That is what informs your security posture because it allows you to say, for this type of data, my posture will be set up one way because it is very different from another type of data I own.
For example, data on your website needs to be secure enough so visitors can’t modify it, but they can still access the information you want them to view. Meanwhile, in HR, you don’t want anyone other than your HR team to access or change your data. The same treatment would apply to trade secrets, so only certain people have access.
CDW has security services that are advisory in nature, which can help businesses with their security posture and assess their tools and any overlaps. One major oversight CIOs make is not revisiting and assessing their business for gaps and overlaps, especially when they undergo mergers and acquisitions.
Many firms encounter IT workforce challenges when they are involved in mergers and/or acquisitions. Their existing IT teams are often already over-tasked and struggle with the integration efforts that follow these business transactions. Once the companies have merged, there is usually a budget associated with the merger that can be used for any integration activities, but it is usually only good for one year. Many companies are not able to complete the integration within a year, and further integration activity comes from the IT budget.
CDW has a vibrant Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) practice, with decades of experience helping companies integrate and get maximum value from the merger. Some CDW customers are acquiring two to three companies each year, and constantly need additional technical resources from CDW to make those integrations successful and timely, often finishing within a year from contract. For some of these customers, CDW often creates template SOWs with size and country-based rate adjustments to create a repeatable process and reliable budget estimates.
Another challenge that M&A activities bring is software licensing. Once a merger has taken place, firms often have multiple contracts with Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, Oracle, and others. Those vendors are usually very willing to put those contracts in a new name, but getting detailed licensing information can often times be very difficult and time consuming. Rationalizing which contracts to keep and which to combine, as well as how to change individual and bundled licensing can be a tricky process. Missteps in this area can cost a firm millions of dollars. CDW offers Software Asset Management services to help customers with this process.
An aging workforce is not being replenished.
When you visit job search websites like LinkedIn or Indeed, the majority of tech jobs are focused on things like security, cloud, containers and software development. For students in college trying to determine what to study, mainframe is not making the cut. As a result, there isn’t enough of an influx of new talent. Instead, you often see students coming out of college with one or two cloud certifications. Even developers are getting certifications for cloud.
When you look at enterprises across the world, we have an aging workforce. So, what do you do when your mainframe workforce dwindles? CDW has a strong mainframe and IBM Power team of experts that can integrate into teams. As your employees approach retirement, CDW can assist with gathering and maintaining institutional knowledge. Then, when your employees are ready to retire, CDW can continue to manage mainframe for your business.
Story by Jeremy Wonson, who is an Enterprise Architect at CDW with over 25 years of industry experience. He is responsible for developing strategies that enable rapid business transformation and process improvement by ideating and implementing innovative enterprise-level solutions. He is adept at building and leading top-performing teams that drive resolution to complex technology challenges.