Information Technology Strategy For The Future Workforce
Dynamics For Team Development
Usually, you pick the best players, implement the clearest strategy, measure and monitor your milestones, and your team will win. This not only works in sports, it should work for building a world class IT organization.
That all sounds simple, but picking top IT performers, however, is getting more difficult as time dimensions for decision-making are compressed, and the needs of the marketplace become more fluid. This is especially true in today’s high demand, highly mobile workforce. The answer appears to be “Strategic Staff Augmentation.” It’s a dynamic new IT workforce strategy that aligns senior level IT staging with the strategic direction of the enterprise.
Strategic staff augmentation adds the effectiveness and flexibility of an on-demand advanced IT skills workforce to a department’s core staff. Because many mission-critical IT projects should not be outsourced, strategic staff augmentation is a viable alternative to “total solutions” providers. In fact, adding specialty IT consultants to a company’s workforce on an as-needed basis is the most cost-effective way to retain core technology while implementing the latest technical advances.
Workforce planning, including strategic IT staff augmentation, is now a crucial element of top level enterprise strategy. Creating a long-term strategy to find the very best IT workforce for the new work environment is a leadership imperative for CEOs, CIO’s HR professionals and recruiters. Enterprises that have preferential access to these critical professional resources will have a decisive competitive advantage.
New Workforce Model
The new IT workforce model consists of two groups: a core of permanent employees and a growing pool of independent workers. Within these groups, IT skills split into tactical and strategic, advanced skills functions.
Tactical IT specialists handle clearly defined tasks that help create efficiency within an organization, such as help desk, systems support and maintenance.
Strategic, advanced skills IT professionals have the superior skills and experience to plan and execute long-range strategic innovation and create intellectual, as well as financial capital for their organizations. They are the 20% of the workforce who deliver 80% of the value of a given IT strategy. These senior level IT professionals are typically in the top 15% of their technology niche.
Specialty IT Staffing
With today’s deadline-driven IT demands and time-compressed projects cycles, the ability to augment a core staff with on-demand advanced skills professionals can dramatically increase a company’s competitive advantage. The CIO’s and CEOs will be successful in tomorrow’s ultra-competitive markets are developing a long-term IT project strategy and increasingly using flexible, specialty IT staffing sources to create the best team possible.
Research shows that professional services and outsourcing firms often charge 3 to 5 times the cost of the consultants who perform the work. On the other hand, specialty IT staffing firms that provide consultants to augment a core staff typically charge less than 1.5 times the actual consultant rate.
Commodity IT staffing firms, while having a competitive labor multiple similar to specialty IT firms, simply don’t have access to the advanced IT skills required for most technical challenges. Preparing for this new workforce is a growing cadre of specialty companies.
Resource Portfolio Management
As in any intellectual capital, highly skilled technical resources, like investment portfolios, must be managed continually for best results to meet corporate management’s continually shifting goals. The Forrester Report described the resources portfolio management concept in detail, Leadership Strategies
Resource portfolio management is based on the concept of creating connections between internal IT resources and requirements and external IT providers. Strategic staff augmentation is a crucial element of prudent resource portfolio management and will be critical to any information management strategy in the future.
Creating an effective, long-term strategy for finding and using advanced skill IT professionals is the new management imperative. Enterprise leaders who adopt strategic staff augmentation as a workforce strategy and use sophisticated resource portfolio management techniques will have access to the very best IT skills available. These enterprises will be better positioned for market leadership.