It’s no news that managing the IT workforce has become one, if not the greatest challenge that any organization is facing in order to produce the results that the business is demanding.
IT Talent is scarce because:
· There are proportionally fewer STEM graduates every year.
· It’s demand is increasing.
· More immigration restrictions are being put in place.
· Many regions in the USA are not attractive to IT workers.
· The high pace of new emerging technologies is demanding a continuously growing specialized workforce.
As an IT executive, are you using every IT workforce source available to you in order to maximize efficiency and decrease costs?
Have you researched and done a thorough evaluation of how you can combine the different solutions available in order to balance your IT workforce?
If not, there is a high likelihood that you are making a costly mistake by missing several important factors and understanding the options available to you.
For starters, here are the most important options that you need to constantly evaluate.
Each of these options offers important benefits, but not surprisingly they are all different in terms of cost and risk.
Of course, you know that having a workforce built by only employees, working at your own location, is ideal in terms of risk, communication, and IP protection, but it is also the most expensive option. On the other hand, outsourced teams in foreign locations can be very attractive when it comes to cost. But, if they are not properly managed, they can impose a high risk and be ineffective due to poor communication.
The good news is that thanks to technology and low-cost communications, you can find multiple variations of an outsourced solution or even a joint venture between you and an outsourcing partner.
Among the “newer” options that have multiplied the opportunities to create a balanced workforce, and something many companies have embraced, are remote workers which can be employees or contractors in a nearshore location. “Nearshoring” refers to a nearby country, which for the USA, means Mexico and Latin America.
The most important factors that come into play are:
· Knowledge retention
· Intellectual property protection
· New capabilities acquisition
· Time to acquire
· Ease of communication
· Cultural compatibility
· Ease of management
Every IT organization has to weigh each of these factors to determine the level of importance of each of them and be able to deduce the best combination to maximize efficiency and optimize cost.
Here is an example of the type of analysis that every CEO, CFO, CIO, and their leadership team ought to be doing:
One important workforce balancing option in the arsenal of human resources is building a nearshore team. As shown above, in Figure 1, you can leverage a nearshore solution with remote workers by partnering with a nearshore provider or setting up a captive center.
· Are you overpaying because you haven’t researched and discovered the benefits of nearshore as an option to balance your workforce?
· Do all of your areas and daily operations involve intellectual property or knowledge that can’t be easily protected and managed in order to enable an outsourced solution?
· Are your in-house managers and other key employees burned out by communicating with teams on the other side of the world when they should be sleeping at night or spending time with their family? In addition, are you caring about their work-life balance?
This basic comparison will help you realize the risks and imbalances you may not have known or thought about in your current IT workforce.
You didn’t know that you didn’t know.
Having a balanced IT workforce by adding a nearshore team will help you to:
· Improve knowledge retention
· Protect intellectual property
· Provide fixed-to-variable cost flexibility
· Help acquire new tech capabilities
· Optimize the total cost of IT operations
· Expand the availability of talent
· Increase the quality of talent
Many organizations, large and small, have already implemented a nearshore model with proven success. So, don’t worry, this is not an experiment!