The IT department of a company is in many ways like its heart. All other areas of the organisation depend on it for vital everyday functioning. But in recent years, IT departments have been tasked with more than just keeping things running. IT departments are being increasingly relied on for strategic technological developments integral to the success of companies. It is no longer just about setting up email, wireless routers and fixing printer issues—it is about adding to the businesses bottom line.
Yet over a quarter of IT leaders (29%) believe their IT team needs to be replaced in order to drive digital transformation and increase productivity, according to research done by IT resourcing specialist, Experis in their recent report, Tomorrow’s Tech Teams.
Organisations want their teams to deliver more cloud services (61%) and mobile apps (53%) and turn data into actionable insight (51%). But the survey of 1,000 IT workers and 200 senior IT managers in the UK, found that 67% of IT leaders said they currently lack the balance of team expertise required to provide these services. They also believed they could increase overall productivity by 31% if their team had the right mix of IT skills, knowledge and experience.
“Traditionally, the IT department was the practical powerhouse tasked with maintaining infrastructure, but now it is evolving to become more strategic,” said Geoff Smith, managing director of Experis Europe.
The report goes on to say, “IT teams now have a big opportunity to innovate and contribute so much more to the wider business. However, in order to build departments that are fit for the future, rigorous, industry-wide change in how tech specialists are recruited needs to take place.”
With firms now demanding that professionals possess a better-rounded skillset composed of soft and hard skills in equal measure, the talent shortfall is intensifying. 76% of managers claim they struggle to source professionals with the necessary blend of legacy and emerging tech skills to meet the increasing demands of the IT sector.
Experis concludes that there is currently an even split of IT professionals with each skillset. 48% possess emerging or innovative skills, whilst 52% have traditional or legacy skills. Most importantly, very few workers are considered to hold a combined skillset, a quality that is prioritised by 62% of IT managers.
What is the solution?
It is simple: IT departments shouldn't try do everything, or try to find people that can. Rather than be responsible for infrastructure, day to day employee IT issues and liaising with vendors, in-house IT staff should focus on the strategic technology developments their company needs to stay competitive.
Outsourcing what is considered the standard IT department functions (including everything from network maintenance, anti-virus, data backup, new starters to user issues) is cost effective and more efficient than trying to manage these things within a team also tasked with strategic development of business-critical technologies. They are essentially two different departments. And with economies of scale, a managed service provider is better situated to provide traditional IT functions than in-house IT staff could ever be.
For example, a leading managed service provider will have an on-call help desk for employees to call when something doesn’t work. They will also have a wide array of expertise covering hardware, software and IT functions that most in-house corporate IT teams would never be able to cover with the same scope. Moreover, a good MSP will be able to use their partner network to achieve better pricing on everything from software licenses, to new laptops, to new servers.
So rather than face difficult years ahead in resource management, as the Experis report suggests, IT departments may want to consider focusing on what is best done from the inside, and outsource the rest to a reliable managed service provider they can trust.
We happen to know one.
BTA is a leading managed service provider in London, covering SMEs across the UK and internationally. With a strong focus on outsourced IT—offered in both a flexible and comprehensive option, BTA is the ideal managed service provider for companies looking for that much-needed additional help for their in-house IT team. Learn more at www.bta.com.