At present, there are still more than 2 million job vacancies in the tech industry, and nearly 12 million workers lacking essential digital skills. 

Not only does this mean that businesses are missing vital resources to support initiatives such as digital transformation, cloud migration and cybersecurity, but they’re also spending countless hours and extra budget trying to recruit the relevant expertise in an incredibly competitive market – something that only adds to the pressures the current financial environment is bringing. 

This is a complication we have witnessed first hand at ARP Ideas and while some companies are aware of these challenges, there are others who are either not aware or simply don’t know how to overcome these obstacles. 

However, the positive news is there is a solution to the problem – outsourcing. Calling on external support for technical/IT-related issues or projects means organisations not only have the ability to bring in expertise when it’s needed for certain projects, saving them time and money during those periods where such a team isn’t required, but it also gives them access to a particular skill set as and when needed. 

This in turn broadens their opportunities; enabling them to turn activity on and off as necessary, as well as reducing the financial burden recruitment and onboarding processes can bring.  

Always-on specialism

It’s not uncommon for businesses to require an IT expert, programmer, or developer with a specific set of skills for a relatively short period of time – sometimes a project might require expertise for two weeks, a month, or perhaps half a year. As such, keeping a full-time specialist on board isn’t logical but how easy is it to find someone to work for a one-off project? Not very. 

Instead, calling on IT outsourcing enables a business to easily plug in a dedicated team who bring the level of expertise they need to run the project successfully and efficiently without the need for training or calling on other resources within the company. This allows for the flexibility that full-time, in-house employment does not.

Another benefit is that IT outsourcing companies will seek out the best of the best and build a portfolio of experts who have worked for an array of companies, solving different problems, and growing their knowledge and expertise as a result. This provides businesses with access to customised solutions based on the problem they are trying to solve, the technology they use, as well as the approach most suited to their business. 

We mustn’t allow digital skills shortage to spiral amid cost-of-living crisis

Overcoming recruitment challenges

When it comes to recruitment in IT and technology, businesses are battling with an employee market – something that is even more prevalent when it comes to very specialist skill sets such as software programmers or developers, for example. Finding someone with such expertise is not only time-consuming, but it can also cost businesses a lot in terms of recruitment fees as well as having to offer competitive salaries.

Outsourcing alleviates this issue. Rather than having a full-time in-house programmer, outsourcing the job to a specialist, or group of specialists, can be a real time-saver as well as reduce recruitment and onboarding costs that occur when bringing on full-time employees.

There’s no ‘I’ in team

Despite there being value in outsourcing jobs to talented individuals, businesses can get even more value out of contracting entire teams. It’s likely that projects such as cloud migration, a shift in cybersecurity strategy, or rolling out a new CRM system, will require more than one skill set. Working with a provider who can deliver a diverse team of specialists – including for example analysts, developers, or technical consultants – means businesses can take advantage of a multitude of skills without the headache of seeking those people out individually. 

Furthermore, by partnering with an IT outsourcing firm, they too become an extension of the business, sharing the potential risk involved with whatever project is running and helping solve any problems that may arise along the way. 

Additionally, should any illness or time off occur, calling on a third-party to provide workers means there is always a replacement available who can swap in to ensure there is no impact to the project. Whereas one of your own employees being sick is your responsibility, when outsourcing IT specialists, the responsibility lies with the company who is providing the resource to fill the gap with an employee with the same or at least very similar skillset. 

As businesses try to navigate cost of living and financial crises as well as an ever-growing, ever-changing digital landscape, seeking a cost-effective, flexible solution such as IT outsourcing is something to seriously consider for SMEs across all sectors and industries.

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