With a 78% talent shortage in information technology, the demand for IT expertise has surged, leaving many organizations struggling to fill critical roles. As company leaders and HR departments craft strategies to attract fresh talent, a pressing question emerges: How can existing IT teams cope with this challenge while meeting the needs of their customers and employees?
The reality is that many IT teams already find themselves stretched thin, grappling with resource limitations that hinder their ability to support new technologies vital for organizational growth. This predicament poses a potential roadblock to a company’s progress. The solution lies in integration. Rather than bringing together disparate, one-off solutions to address various technology needs, IT teams that opt for a unified approach by obtaining hardware, software, and services from a single, trusted partner are poised for greater success. This strategy not only enhances IT’s ability to serve customers but also eases the burden on their internal staff.
Today’s IT Buying Trends
According to Gartner, the biggest barrier to the adoption of about 64% of new technology is the talent shortage. This means that IT leaders who are looking to deploy new tools – such as voice recognition and data visualization – to boost business outcomes don't have the resources to do so. Furthermore, traditional hiring practices no longer suffice, and the competition for experienced IT professionals continues to intensify. In fact, 44% of high-profile organizations expect the talent shortage to become even more dire in the next five years. This shift in the IT job market has spurred a growing trend towards integrated partner solutions.
While the hiring and recruiting of IT talent is a challenge that shouldn’t be ignored, there is value in leveraging outside resources. In this case, integrated partners can bring a wealth of new, specialized skills and experience to the table. For instance, they may offer certified experts in areas like cybersecurity, AI, and cloud infrastructure management. This allows organizations to bridge the skills gap and tap into a broader knowledge set while also moving projects forward. Additionally, with the ever-evolving technology landscape, an integrated partner can help an organization decrease its IT burden and scale operations at the speed that makes sense for the business. Rather than mismatching talent with objectives or hiring without specific goals in mind, organizations can take this supplemental approach in which their current talent's potential and headcount are maximized.
Streamlining Deployment and Servicing with Integrated Solutions
One of the primary benefits of integrated partner solutions lies in the ability to streamline the deployment and servicing of IT infrastructure. Traditionally, managing multiple vendors for hardware and software is time-consuming because the more vendors involved, the more complex the operational environment. According to a 2020 survey, 76% of IT leaders reported that managing multiple vendors for hardware and software was a significant challenge, leading to increased complexity and resource demands in their IT departments.
By consolidating specific IT needs through a single partner (that often sits at the center of a technology ecosystem), organizations can gain a one-stop shop for technology requirements and a cohesive approach to technology implementation. This allows an organization's own talent (whether one person or a team of professionals) to focus their time where it matters most for the business. It also enhances overall efficiency and reliability, allowing internal IT teams to focus on strategic initiatives rather than juggling multiple vendors.
Decreasing Costs and Reducing IT Burden
Cost savings are a significant driver behind the adoption of integrated partner solutions. By centralizing procurement and management, organizations can negotiate better pricing or terms with their chosen partner. Organizations can take a longer-term approach to their IT needs, which can lower the total cost over time.
With a reduced number of vendors to oversee and coordinate, IT teams can optimize their resource allocation, allowing them to focus on projects that foster innovation and contribute to business expansion. This strategic shift brings IT teams into closer alignment with the business and end customers, alleviating them from time-consuming tasks and enhancing their overall work experience. By providing comprehensive support, IT team members can redirect their attention towards more substantial challenges, such as strategies for launching new solutions in the market. Meanwhile, partners can handle the day-to-day IT requirements of the company, such as device maintenance, security patching, and ensuring up-to-date software installations.
Preparing for Future Growth with Integrated Solutions
While addressing immediate talent shortages is crucial, it is equally important to prepare for future growth. Integrated partner solutions provide the scalability required to accommodate expanding IT needs seamlessly. As an organization evolves, a partner can adapt its offerings to match the organization’s requirements. This ensures the business remains agile and competitive in a rapidly changing landscape. An agile business typically delivers about 30% gains in efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational performance.
The path to overcoming IT talent shortages and achieving lasting success lies in adopting integrated partner solutions. By embracing this approach, organizations can navigate current challenges, streamline their IT operations, reduce costs, and empower their existing talent. This strategic shift positions businesses to not only weather current challenges but also to thrive in a digital future where IT expertise is paramount.
Dominick Passanante, Vice President, Mobility Business, Panasonic Connect.