U.S. colleges and universities are churning out more than 40,000 graduates in computer and information sciences each year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Apparently, it’s not enough.
In a new CFO Research survey, conducted in collaboration with RSM, 49 percent of senior finance executives at middle-market companies say their businesses are being adversely impacted by their ability to attract and retain qualified technology talent.
Many companies have already turned to managed IT services to bridge the gaps in their own IT workforce, with generally favorable results. More than two-thirds of the finance executives surveyed—69 percent—say a trusted managed IT services provider can do a better job of delivering IT services than the typical company can do on its own. And a stunning 60 percent now say they would be comfortable having a managed IT services provider deliver all of their company’s IT functionality. In addition to giving them access to world-class capabilities, they say, outsourcing IT services can free internal resources for other purposes (57 percent of respondents), streamline or increase efficiency for time-consuming functions (45 percent), and reduce and control costs (32 percent). A small but significant minority—22 percent—also say outsourcing IT can improve a company’s focus.
Most Difficult Talent Issues Related To Current IT Staff
- Technical competency
- Strategic planning and vision
- Industry knowledge
- Project management
- Customer service skills
Many companies also are looking to manage their way through the IT labor shortage by moving some or all of their IT operations to a cloudbased environment, largely eliminating the need to source, manage, and maintain computer hardware and software on their own. Fifty-three percent of the survey respondents say their companies are already using cloud-based services for fundamental applications such as data storage and network hosting, 41 percent are using cloud-based office productivity software, and 37 percent are using cloud-based financial systems. Migrating higher-value activities to the cloud has proceeded more slowly—only 27 percent of survey respondents say their companies use cloud-based data analytics systems, for example—but the percentage of firms doing that is expected to grow.
Companies continue to struggle to attract and retain IT employees— and look to outsourcing and the cloud for help.