By Denise Dubie
Benefit in cloud computing, managed services and SaaS set new records during the downturn in 2009, and industry observers propose the various sourcing options will also drive high-tech hiring decisions into 2010 as IT departments need to take all technology delivery vehicles on the road to economic recovery into account.
Since outsourcing is an alternative to internal staff, it can often be perceived in a negative perspective. However, in 2010, IT talent industry watchers claim that high-tech workers who can identify areas that can be outsourced and save their companies cash will be in demand. In addition, experts say vendor negotiation and management skills will also be in need, as companies attempting to rebuild toward an economic recovery seek the most affordable contracts.
Lily Mok, vice president of Gartner’s CIO Research, says, “Outsourcing is going to continue to be a trend, and the skill sets to manage vendor relationships and contract performance will be highly valued. Companies will want to consolidate vendors, find better deals with existing vendors, really understand their contracts in terms of costs and performance, and renegotiate contracts to find better options.”
David Foote, co-founder, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners says that IT candidates with expertise in fields such as software license management, contract negotiations and managing consultants or distributed teams could help a company determine which managed service offering could be a good fit or whether cloud computing is a sound choice or not for a midsize or smaller company.
“Research shows that about half of all enterprises have purchased some managed services. There has been a lot of interest around in-house skills and managed IT services. There is a lot less hiring in some areas that clearly managed services can pick up the slack in, such as VoIP, especially for SMB segments,” Says Foote.
Employees will not only be expected to understand all available outsourcing options, but they must also be aware that they could be working more closely with IT teams in India or other countries if their company signs a contract to work with an offshore provider. In accordance with IT talent experts interviewed, promising candidates would be wise to cite any experience with offshore teams and promote the positive differentiator they could add from such previous dealings.
“The globalization of the IT workforce will continue, and the combination of insourcing and outsourcing will also obviously continue. Anything IT professionals can do to highlight their experience working with high-tech workers in multiple countries and distributed workers will resonate with IT hiring managers,” says Jeff Schwartz, a principal with Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice.
In face of a combination of in-house and external workforce, IT staffers will need to differentiate themselves with not limited to technical knowledge. The competent internal employee would be able to make decisions about technology essential to the company’s line of business, according to IT talent recruiters. For example, more generic technical duties will be sent off-premises via a SaaS service desk.
Matt Colaursso, manager of Sapphire’s National Recruiting Team, says, “Everything we are hearing going forward is about business-facing roles with technology expertise. As technologies continue to advance, you will see the size of IT departments get smaller and people in house will be working simultaneously on multi-layer projects that require knowledge of the core business and might require managing offshore teams, contractors or other outsourcers. Those are the high-tech jobs that won’t and can’t be outsourced.”