ICT Function Staffing Strategies

The issue of the right staff for the right job at the right time continues to be a key pain point for most organizations across the world. This applies especially within the ICT sector, with key themes revolving around high attrition rates, outsource or insource and lean versus non-lean. Whereas most organizations are grappling with attracting and retaining top notch talent, there’s also an underlying discontent on what staffing models to adopt and how to align the same with the wider organizational structures. Unlike other sectors, the ICT domain is quite dynamic and is prone to split second changes and developments. Organizations that learn on the need to keep pace and balance between IT staffing strategies and the disruptive nature of Technology, will not only attract good talent, but will also formulate agile ICT Staffing models that are supportive of their wider organizational strategies.

As organizations ponder what works best for them, it’s imperative to note that there’s no one size fits all model as far as ICT Staffing is concerned. Defining the right model is dependent on a company’s wider strategy and their notion of where ICT fits within their bigger picture. As an example, if bank xyz is positioning itself as a “Technology Powerhouse” with a banking license, then it’s a whole new ball game around how the ICT unit is structured and how new talent in brought on board. For bank xyz, strategic partnerships with FinTech startups will be as critical as hiring a world class CIO and CTO. Such a bank needs to groom upcoming and existing FinTech startups and accommodate them within their ICT function. Taking queue into another industry; if Insurance company abc is mad about faster go to market strategies with technology enabled distribution strategies, adopting creative, agile hiring strategies will be critical. Whereas the bank in the former example will be keen to pursue talent retention tactics for longer periods as a robust Technology ecosystem is established, it might work in the interest of the Insurance Company to engage a contracting approach to tackle some of their initiatives, whilst retaining strategic roles in-house. On the other hand, it makes no sense at all for an SME or mid sized company to invest in a fully fledged in-house based ICT function that encompasses every title that you would think of. For an SME, adopting a lean approach that thrives on a hybrid of a lean structure and outsourced services is a good win. Such a model will entail outsourcing some functions and leveraging on cloud technologies, that don’t warrant heavy investment in IT Infrastructures. Successful and innovative SME companies have a higher propensity to adopt emerging IT staffing and recruitment models such as Interim CIO services and contract resourcing. Beyond SMEs, it’s slowly dawning on companies that formulating robust IT staffing models doesn’t come cheap and requires some investment on people in the form of modest salaries and career development opportunities. For a company adopting a cost cutting strategy, it doesn’t take long to realize that cheap can be quite expensive.

Moving beyond the traditional ICT Applications and Infrastructure Tower structures is as critical as understanding emerging ICT staffing models; the most common one, fashioned around Plan, Build and Run ICT functions. Companies yearning for Innovation, faster go to market and quick product development cycles, will find the latter model quite appealing. Beyond the structuring strategies, organizations need to re-think on their recruitment strategies to ensure a tapping of the right talent on time and in full. Companies with recruitment strategies that are solely dependent on job boards and traditional recruiters will find it harder to get good IT talent compared to companies that go for niche recruiters with a holistic view of the talent being recruited and how it fits within the company’s IT structure.

James Muritu

 

 

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