During extraordinary global change, workers tend to migrate to new opportunities. The Industrial Revolution, World War II, and the dot-com frenzy all saw workers moving, for better or worse, in large numbers. The pandemic accelerated yet another labor migration; today's workers—especially IT and other knowledge professionals—are resigning from their jobs en masse or reshuffling to new ones.
The media calls it the "Great Resignation," but to CIOs and other managers, it's a tremendous headache needing relief. Before identifying the solution, let's look at how IT got to this place and why.
The pandemic: catalyst, not cause
It's easy to blame the Great Resignation—or the Great IT Exodus—on the pandemic. But the industry faced similar challenges before the virus ushered in radical change. Quite simply, the proliferation of data and technology was already straining IT departments' ability to manage it all with efficiency and effectiveness.
Over the last two years, the pressing need among companies to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives to support remote workforces compounded the strain on IT. It also illustrated the need for IT workers of all types. The high technology demand led to overworked departments and IT burnout, causing some IT workers to quit their jobs. Those left face 80-hour workweeks, ticket backlogs, understaffing, a lack of operational support for remote workers, and other challenges.
In addition to facing a shortage of IT staff, such as qualified database administrators, to manage their current workflow, organizations are delaying IT projects because they don't have people to do the work. Departments with large initiatives on the horizon don't know how they'll complete this work.
Leveraging MSPs to maintain and improve workflow
While many organizations bolster their in-house IT staff, others have found the solution externally through managed service providers (MSPs). These specialized firms provide various services around networks, databases and applications, infrastructure, security, and support, either on-premises or remotely. MSPs have been part of the IT landscape for years. They've now taken an outsize role in providing critical support for database administration and IT infrastructure as well as staffing for one-time projects and full-time management. They can provide their clients with experience, insight, and skills that surpass a few new hires from the talent war.
Because MSPs tend to work with many different clients, they can provide best practices and experienced perspectives that can help with analytics, data management, workflow optimization, application modernization, security upgrades, and more.
Of course, organizations must consider the potential concerns of their full-time staff when bringing in an MSP. Workers will naturally be concerned about their positions and can benefit from open dialogue about the need for outside help. An MSP often serves as an adjunct to the existing team, not a replacement.
The deployment of additional staff to immediately fill IT staffing gaps and take over routine maintenance and monitoring brings swift benefits. It will help free up the full-time staff to work on more value-adding projects and restore work-life balance. Conversely, MSPs can use their specialized experience to assist with new undertakings such as cloud migrations, where destination selection, data integrity, fidelity, and security are paramount.
How to win the talent war
To gauge the status of your IT department, consider performing a highly detailed analysis of personnel, process, and workflow across your entire IT footprint. You'll gain a complete picture of talent gaps, pinpoint bottlenecks, and identify what's getting done and what's not. You'll be able to source and evaluate the correct type of MSP for your needs and know where it can add immediate and long-term value. MSPs are a faster, easier way to get the specialized expertise you need to help your organization meet its IT goals and boost employee satisfaction and morale.
Finding critical staffing support amid the Great Resignation can be an arduous, ongoing battle. Why continue to fight the talent war yourself when a managed service provider can win for you? You'll always know where the talent is – wherever you need it.
Eric Russo is Senior Vice President of Database Services at Datavail.