In Part 1 of this series we discussed Cost and its frequent companion: Complexity. Now in Part 2, I’ll discuss another key component of our assessment guidelines; namely staffing and acquiring just-in-time skillsets.
Talent Availability (The Cost to Have Enough)
In the previous post, I talked about the increasing specialization of IT skill sets. It’s often no longer financially reasonable or even possible to find candidates who can address both the macro and micro aspects of your IT systems. Finding someone with the very specific in-depth technical skills to support a specific system is often hard enough; but expecting that person to also have the experience and very different skills to zoom their focus out to a holistic view of your systems is just setting yourself up for expense, disappointment and turnover.
For this reason, we begin addressing this issue by mapping the existing technical skills on staff to those needed to support the ongoing goals of a client. It might be tempting to skip this step, but in doing so you fail to assess effective utilization of your most expensive asset – your people and their knowledge. What have you really got and are you getting what you need from them?
It is vital to have a candid assessment of the current skills of your staff, and match them against the systems and expectations that in turn support your organization’s strategic objectives. It sounds easy to do, but it takes technical assessment skill (what skills do they really have) operational understanding (what’s the systems impact) and how do they both support the big picture (where are the critical path problems and skill gaps)?
We close skill gaps by giving clients access to a staff of skilled resources (from break/fix specialists up to CIO level consulting) to help organizations staff the right team for their needs, and do so more cost effectively. This way an organization can focus their IT staff on strategic needs, and leverage a utilization model to ensure support in the gap areas. Our data center technical talent that takes responsibility for certain functions without the need for staffing or management expense. The shared utilization benefit we outlined in Part 1 for the data center infrastructure also applies to sharing the benefit and reduced cost to technical expertise.
Next, In Part 3 we’ll discuss Sustainability: why ensuring it for your critical data and systems is important and how we approach it.
In the meantime, join the conversation with us on Facebook. What’s been your toughest IT staffing challenge lately?