Workers across the U.S. are quitting their jobs in record numbers in the wake of the pandemic, a development economists and management experts refer to as “The Great Resignation” or “The Big Quit.” Many information technology executives expect to increase their use of managed services to address impending talent shortages.
CIOs and CTOs were already dealing with an IT skills gap and an ongoing “brain drain” before COVID-19 shook up workforces everywhere. As massive numbers of Baby Boomer-era programmers headed into retirement over the past decade, they frequently took years of valuable knowledge about applications, processes and data with them.
That’s a significant problem because so many organizations remain highly dependent on legacy applications and infrastructure that have been in place for decades. For example, the financial services industry is extremely reliant upon mainframe-based applications that were written in COBOL, a 60-year-old programming language that few IT professionals understand today.
The ongoing IT talent shortage compounded the problem. While older programmers were heading out the door, most companies were finding it increasingly difficult to find, hire, train and keep new IT specialists. The IT trade group CompTIA estimates that there are more than 700,000 unfilled tech jobs in the U.S. today.
Finding and keeping IT talent is now even more challenging. In the second year of the pandemic, millions of people are leaving their jobs each month in search of more flexibility, satisfaction and happiness. In several studies, employees cite job burnout and the desire to create a better work/life balance as factors impacting their career choices.
Some 55 percent of Americans say they plan to look for a new job within the next year, according to PwC’s latest U.S. Pulse Survey. Among technology professionals, about one-third say they are looking for new jobs, according to a recent Robert Half International survey. Meanwhile, a CompTIA report notes that employers posted more than 365,000 IT job openings in June — the highest monthly total since September 2019.
In light of these converging trends, many of the CIOs surveyed by PwC say they plan to alter their strategies in order to reduce their dependence on employee institutional knowledge. Almost half (46 percent) said they expect to increase their use of outsourcing and managed services to close the skills gap.
The Managed Services Option
Outsourcing IT functions to a managed services provider (MSP) is a great way to gain access to the expertise, skill sets and intellectual property you need. Qualified providers have the engineering depth, the core infrastructure and the vendor connections throughout the technology stack to support most any IT initiative.
A good MSP relationship is especially valuable in an age of increasingly distributed computing environments. Providers with mature remote monitoring and management offerings help organizations stay on top of their IT resources spread across branch offices, remote locations and multiple cloud instances.
A long-term MSP relationship also introduces high levels of IT stability and helps eliminate brain drain. Over time, the provider’s team will become deeply familiar with your systems, including hardware configurations, software versions, critical dependencies and more. Because providers document and share that knowledge, you can be sure that your key processes become standardized, repeatable and highly consistent.
“The Great Resignation” is creating IT staffing challenges, but they can be overcome with a solid outsourcing relationship. Partnering with a service provider is a cost-efficient way to gain the manpower and expertise needed to keep things running smoothly while also accommodating changing requirements.