A June 2021 report claims that nearly a third of employers across the financial, professional and business services sectors are struggling to recruit, with “thousands” of critical technology roles unfilled. With skills shortages particularly pronounced in the IT department, this article explains why this is such a problem and what you can do about it…
Where have all the techies gone?
Technology is helping to reshape the professional services sector as it adapts to a new post-pandemic era of rising client expectations and commercial pressures, but also a business opportunity. IT skills are therefore in high demand here, as they are in virtually every industry. There were over 64,000 tech job vacancies in Q3 2021, up a staggering 191% year-on-year, according to BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
That’s down in part to the impact of the pandemic, which led to hiring freezes and job losses. Now firms are ramping up operations and they can’t find the staff to manage much-needed digital projects. Many workers are reassessing whether their current career is the best fit for their long-term aspirations and lifestyle choices. Others who stayed on during the uncertainty of the pandemic and delayed job or career moves, may now belatedly be hitting the “escape” button. Globally, just 29% of IT workers have a “high intent” to stay with their current employer, according to Gartner.
The digital engine room
This matters particularly to professional services firms. Why? Because, while automated software can help to “keep the lights on” by taking over repetitive, mundane IT work, it is human skills that are needed to execute digital transformation. Even before the pandemic, organisations were helping to carve out differentiation and growth through such projects. Nearly three-quarters of British law firms said digital transformation was a primary or secondary focus, in a 2019 study from recruiter Hays.
Post-COVID, the need for IT modernisation is even more acute. It could mean plugging in collaboration and document management systems to support more effective hybrid working. Or transitioning to Zero Trust architectures for optimised cybersecurity. It could be developing a new AI system for document reviews, to free lawyers up for higher value work. Or setting up a more transparent billing system to enhance the customer experience. Digital projects like this offer the prospect of increasing employee productivity and enhancing service delivery while reducing operational costs to make professional services firms more competitive.
However, IT skills have unfortunately become a serious bottleneck that threatens to delay these crucial changes. In a Harvey Nash study last year, 67% of IT leaders said a lack of skilled professionals was slowing down the rate of digital transformation.
Stepping up and filling in
Fortunately, help is at hand. By outsourcing skills to a trusted third party, professional services firms can help to alleviate the pain of temporary shortages and ensure that critical digital transformation projects aren’t delayed.
Daisy has a keen understanding of these challenges, and how technology can help. That’s why we’ve developed two unique offerings to help alleviate IT skills shortages — whether on an ad hoc basis or as a dedicated resource.
Remote Technical Advice is ideal if you have your own in-house operational team to handle day-to-day service administration and configuration tasks. It gives you access to highly experienced and accredited engineers for an extra layer of expert technical support across cloud, desktop, LAN & Wi-Fi and unified communications platforms to help with service performance, configuration, integration and other issues.
Rapid IT Workforce provides assistance to cover gaps in your own IT resources or if you need support during particularly busy periods. Whether covering for annual or long-term sick leave or bridging skills gaps while recruiting for a new starter, you can expect the same high quality engineering resources. Daisy can help with everything from ERP and CRM systems to servers, databases, cloud and networks — offering support within 24 hours’ notice. Whether you need a service desk analyst or a specialist technical resource, Daisy can help.