Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 3/20/2012 | 38 comments

Andrew Froehlich
It's safe to say that employee loyalty in IT firms has been on the decline for the last few decades. But why? Is it because employees jump ship at the first sign of a better opportunity? Or is it that companies don't see profit in loyalty and therefore are willing to create a revolving door environment where employees are simply commodities that are minimally trained and easily discarded?

Unfortunately, the blame often falls on both sides of the table. But for us to get back on track, I feel that management needs to make the first move. A recent article detailing a CompTIA research report shows that 90 percent of IT managers are struggling to find workers with the desired skill sets but are unwilling to train their in-house staff to meet their needs. Instead, they continue to look for external consultants to fill the knowledge gap.

And why is management looking to outsourced employees as opposed to their existing staff? I believe there are two primary factors.

First, employers want IT staff that already have the desired skills as opposed to taking time to train someone they already have. Cloud computing skills are a great example, as the cloud boom hit the IT industry fast and hard. Companies that wanted to get into cloud computing early didn't want to wait until their staff got caught up to speed. They chose instead to outsource cloud computing skills to consulting companies that had technical people on the cutting edge.

The second reason managers look to outsourcing as opposed to training in-house staff is the concern that once an employee is trained with a hot new skill, he or she will immediately look for greener pastures and leave the organization, which doesn't get to use the skills it paid for. This goes back to the lack of trust between IT employees and their employers. It's also one of the factors contributing to the supposed tech skills gap we've been hearing a great deal about lately.

While all of this is great news for highly trained consultants who are in high demand, it spells disaster for companies and their employees. Outsourcing can be great when added manpower and knowledge is required in a pinch, but it shouldn't be thought of as a long-term solution. In the end, external consultants move on to their next project and leave the organization with a brain-drain. Instead, the real solution would be to proactively train your employees and be continuously evaluating their value to the company. If you're training your employees with skills that are in high demand, it makes sense that you would have to pay them more in order to keep them.

The days of annual salary reviews are over, and instead a much more dynamic method should be put in place. Your employees will appreciate both the skills training and monetary recognition when it is determined that they offer added value to the company. This, in turn, will rebuild the employee loyalty that has been lacking in IT for so long. And while it sounds expensive, in many cases, it will likely end up being cheaper and more efficient in the long run to have a well-trained and loyal staff. I believe that profit can be made through loyalty; we just need to create an environment that encourages it.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 3 / 4   >   >>
eethtworkz   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/21/2012 3:33:07 AM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
David,

In the current system of Government we have in place(where Politicians are surrounded by Paid Lobbyists );it is next to impossible to root out cronyism and Corruption.

Better option is to starve the beast known as Govt by denying it funds in the first place.

Ashish.
eethtworkz   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/21/2012 3:15:00 AM
Re: loyalty and IT skills
Pedro,

In Today's economic environment,Work-Life Balance is most definitely workable for most companies.

You may also get some support on the Time front(sabbaticals without pay) and/or access to some company resources(like Servers) for personal Projects in rarer cases.

But beyond that(and especially the amount of Support Google gives) is not do-able for most companies today.

Ashish.
Zaius   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/21/2012 1:29:02 AM
Re: loyalty and IT skills
Pedro you raise a huge point here. It is not about the pay. Unless a firm is really underpaying their staff, the brain drain is not for higher pay. Recognition is important and small things to the company are big things to employees. Flex time, telecommuting, child care, educational opportunities, maybe an ongoiing membership to Safaribooks or a good in house digital library, in house benefits sucvh as good food and all sorts of other considerations are what keeps employees on the farm. Higher pay does not give people more timewith their families or increase the possibl productivity of their time. Anything that enhances employee time and time spent on the job will help. Not offering training for advancement is actually one good way to lose employees.
Pedro Gonzales   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 11:14:35 PM
loyalty and IT skills
this is a very interesting article, I have never though of the challenges companies must face in order to get employees witth the required skills they need, i agree that companies should look at their own first rather than hire someone from outside, I think also that there must be other motivation for people to be loyal to a company, other benefits such as working on your own projects such as what google does, being more understanding in regards to personal life, etc.
David Wagner   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 5:59:55 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
I'm certainly fine with less government. But I also like investing in our future. Training someone in a good paying job usually pays for itself in taxes over time.

As for the faud and cronyism, sure it happens. But I don't stop a program because of it. I try to fight the cronyism instead.
eethtworkz   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 5:57:12 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
David,

This is where I have trouble agreeing with you.

In my opinion the most important we face today in America is our Debt Burden and the fact that the current policies put in place by DC are focussed only on Inflating away our Debt(rather than Growing our way out of it).

The Problem is the Government.If you decide such and such Department should do such and such training where you dig into various industries first and find out where they have skills shortage and then train them-My bet is you will see all kinds of Malinvestment and cronyism in the process.

Just like what happened with Solyandra and Ener1 under the Obama Administration.

Rather Govt should just get out of the way of Business by creating very few basic rules and regulations(regarding Environment,Worker Safety,Pay,Hours-It should not be more than a couple of pages at most) and then get out of the way.

The Less Govt we have the better.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/30-stupid-things-the-governemnt-is-spending-money-on

Or we could get more incidences like the ones above...

Ashish.
David Wagner   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 5:33:06 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
I would find it difficult to imagine the government funding a mentoring program. But I'd love to see the government train people in essential jobs we are outsourcing because we're having trouble finding the skills.

This isn't directly IT-related, but I've heard from several people that they simply can't fill the jobs for people who run equipment in machine shops. We simply haven't trained enough. This is the kind of thing the government should be very good at. Intervene in specific places with specific money to send willing unemployed folks to learn how to do a very good, high paying job.
eethtworkz   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 5:27:01 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
David,

Once again I agree.

Only thing is this-How do u get people to volunteer for this venture(without incentives of some sort)??.

You need some sort of a Carrot and Stick policy(atleast initially to forge a Starting point for a Mentorship culture) in a company where it is non-existent today.

Even in the old days not every company had  a strong mentorship culture,most just focussed on learning on the job.So how should we change this?

Do you think Govt funding here plays a role? Or is just more Taxpayer money)that we can ill-afford) thrown down the drain???

Ashish.

 

 
Technocrat   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 5:10:32 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows

@CMTucker    Nice to see you on the boards again my friend.  And I so completely understand and support your take on this issue of loyalty at the workplace.  You make a great point (s) about training, if you don't train the people you have - you will eventually have to train someone from practically scratch.  Does this sound prudent ?   Yet I see it over and over again, apparently companies think this is a cost they can afford, meanwhile nothing gets improved - just the status quo maintained - and then companies have the nerve to see IT as a cost center - It is a cost center because of foolhardy decisions such as this.

 

Compensate, Compensate, Compensate - I have never understood that suits who have no idea what IT entails are entrusted to place a value on the positions within it.  This is a very real problem and Tech professional have little recourse but to do their own thing, and charge 3x as a consultant as opposed to being a full-time employee.

 

I have experience this and I am sure many others have as well - I have one thing to say to businesses out there who think this is the way to go - you're wrong !   And regardless of what you think - you will have to pay sooner or later. 

CMTucker   Loyalty & the IT Skills Gap   3/20/2012 4:52:07 PM
Re: Only as loyal as the master allows
@David completely agree. I think that you have to make it available, and encourage, but not push. If people don't take advantage of it, I'm sure they have their reasons (I for one can't justify NOT taking advantage of it).

 
<<   <   Page 3 / 4   >   >>


The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich   4/22/2014   26 comments
For those of us who study enterprise IT security, last year's Target store hack turned out to be a fantastic case study that was loaded with lessons to learn.
Andrew Froehlich   4/16/2014   18 comments
With news that Google slashed the price of their big-data offering "Big Query" by up to 85 percent, one has to wonder if the move is to ward off competitors -- or simply that the ...
Andrew Froehlich   3/18/2014   26 comments
At a recent South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Edward Snowden said the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the Internet." In light of this, the World Wide Web ...
Andrew Froehlich   2/28/2014   34 comments
An increasing number of partnerships, vendor contracts, and third-party agreements require opening access to your enterprise network. While offering access to these partners is usually ...
Andrew Froehlich   2/18/2014   10 comments
Annual IT security audits can be painful, yet they don't have to be.
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
4/29/2014 - Join Dell and Intel for an interactive discussion about implementing, refining and improving your virtual environment. Specifically we’ll discuss pain points virtualization can solve and those that it can create and how to prevent them.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
moderators@enterpriseefficiency.com
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
SPONSORED BY DELL
CASE STUDIES
EBOOKS
PUBLIC SECTOR RESOURCES
VIDEOS
WHITE PAPERS
WINDOWS SERVER 2012 RESOURCES
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video


On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments


Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   12 comments


The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   5 comments


TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments


Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments


IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments


TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments


TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   8 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments


The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   19 comments


Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   6 comments


New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   11 comments


The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments


We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments


Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments


Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments


Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments


On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments


Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments


A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments


VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments


Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments


Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments


Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments


The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.