Eliminating IT Skills Gaps: Strategies for Filling the Void
December 17, 2020
The IT “skills gap” – and in cybersecurity, especially – is indisputable, particularly for those enterprises endlessly searching and competing in the most cut-throat of markets for the general and specialized IT talent they so critically need. And it’s a problem that’s having a tangible impact on business. In a survey recently conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), 70% of the cybersecurity professionals who responded said that their organizations have been directly affected by the skills shortage. Moreover, 45% believe the problem is getting worse. In this blog, I share tips on eliminating IT skills gaps.
Options to Fill IT Skills Gaps
What’s a company to do? Historically, options for IT staff augmentation have been limited and less than ideal, including:
- Redistribute the work across the existing team – Companies often address the staffing-shortage issue by placing more responsibility on existing team members. This is a recipe for disaster as it leads to burnout and turnover as staffers end up stretched too thin and unable to do their existing job or added responsibilities effectively. Exhaustion and frustration take hold, and then they look elsewhere, keenly aware that their skills are in high demand and that they can secure another position within a matter of days.
- Hire specialized recruiters – Other companies choose to engage recruiters who specialize in IT and cybersecurity, paying a small fortune for their services on top of the salaries, signing bonuses and any other incentives necessary to win over the talent these recruiters are able to find; and all this without any guarantee that the new team member will last.
- Ignore the problem – And then there’s everyone’s favorite option (and probably the most often-deployed approach): companies put off addressing the gap entirely and simply pray that nothing happens before the right resources can be identified and deployed. Of course, the repercussions of this strategy are usually the most devastating for both the business and the hiring manager’s career.
There is another option, however, and it’s one that more companies are embracing by the day: managed IT services. By partnering with the right service provider, companies gain on-demand access to the skills, expertise and proven track record that would make any hiring candidate stand head and shoulders above everyone else. Managed IT services let companies keep their staffing costs under control while giving them the ability to easily scale resources as their needs shift. And with an outsourced IT solution, companies can enlist the support of highly-specialized talent for when they’re needed, without having to pay the premium salary or freelancing fees these IT rock stars typically demand.
But a traditional managed services provider isn’t enough. To truly close the skills gap, companies need a secure managed services provider – one that incorporates comprehensive cybersecurity into the core of their standard managed services offering by design. Otherwise, while clients may have offloaded day-to-day management of their enterprise application environments, like SAP or Oracle, if there’s a security incident of any kind, their managed services provider is likely to toss it back over the wall to the client’s internal security staff for handling.
Secure Managed Services
In contrast, a secure managed services provider like NTT Managed Services incorporates a complete set of security and rapid recovery services into every managed IT engagement, including: data protection, application security, security monitoring, vulnerability scanning services, end user security and network security. So even if the client contract refers to the service deployed as “managed Hyperion,” the client knows their environment is fully protected. More importantly, in the case of a security incident, NTT Managed Services will not just identify, isolate and contain a breach, we will also assist with the rapid recovery of the targeted system, ultimately minimizing downtime and disruption to our client’s business.
For companies trying to fill the skills gap, partnering with a secure managed services provider can be the perfect solution, especially at a time when IT infrastructure is core to keeping these companies running and when security threats are on the rise. It gives strained IT organizations the scalable resources and expertise they need to ensure all systems are go at any given moment, while freeing internal IT staff to focus on the strategic projects that will ultimately grow the business.
Jaclyn Miller is the Chief Security and Privacy Officer, NTT Ltd., Managed Services