Foote notes transition to new workforce models

In commentary announcing their release of their quarterly IT Skills and Certification Pay Index, IT research and advisory firm Foote Partners notes continued changes in market trends in IT hiring. They predict a new skills marketplace where temporary contracting of specialized skills will dominate over the traditional staffing model that encouraged full time hiring as a central component.

CEO David Foote says “Hiring FTEs not only takes too long but it costs more… Nobody wants to waste money making a new hire that may have a very short shelf life if the business decides to change directions quickly.”

They report that senior management is focused on transforming the IT workforce to make it more agile, flexible, and responsive to the business. Foote says that “employers have been moving very deliberately toward managed services and cloud computing models and various new forms of outsourcing and co-sourcing IT labor”. Foote further states there will be no turning back to pre-recession IT models, but thinks this change will ultimately enhance the business’ perception of the value of IT.

Again I encourage the centrist stance. There is much validity to this argument, but transforming the entire IT workforce as such will ultimately result in higher costs, decreased service, and put IP and regulatory requirements at risk. There still needs to be a core set of managers, architects, and engineers that have the company’s best interests at heart. We in management too often make wholehearted leaps to the latest fad rather than selecting the components that really fit our business. Conversely, IT managers do need to adjust to a model where they cede some of the total control and take on more vendor management responsibilities. We tend to overvalue some of our services and do not immediately realize the value of cost benefits.