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Overcoming skills scarcity requires expertise of MSP

Skills are a rare resource that can be found within the talented depths of a trusted managed services provider, says Hope Lukoto, Chief Human Resource Officer at BCX.

Johannesburg, 29 Aug 2023
Tech innovations can turn around SA's economy.
Tech innovations can turn around SA's economy.

In 2021, Gartner found that talent shortages were inhibiting technology adoption and development, with 64% of IT executives citing it as a challenge. Fast-forward to 2023, and the market remains complicated with the firm predicting that demand for talent within tech will continue to exceed supply until 2026. It is echoed by S&P Global statistics that highlight how complex the skills situation has become, with 51% of respondents saying it has been difficult to hire new people and 44% struggling to find qualified candidates.

The S&P analysis also found that while companies are looking for smart ways to upskill and reskill existing talent while building packages that woo top talent to their doors, the cost of finding, attracting and retaining the right people is high. If anything, it is increasing as companies fight for talent – 86% of CIOs participating in a Gartner Survey are competing for qualified candidates and 73% are concerned about attrition.

This demand for highly skilled individuals, particularly within the technology sector, is not just adding zeroes to the business bottom line (as well as wrinkles to the CIO's brow), it is igniting a shift in how companies find, and work with, talent. Gartner has also found that 58% of organisations today are turning to borderless talent to resolve their skills woes, with 27% considering hiring borderless technology employees. The goal today is to find sustainable ways of filling the gaps by strategically sourcing skills.

And this strategic sourcing has shifted to the managed services provider (MSP). Where in the past, outsourcing talent and resources to third parties was really only used to save costs and manage non-critical areas of the business, today this narrative has changed. Deloitte describes it as a reality where "technology, talent and risk forces are colliding" and emphasises the value of companies working with MSPs to fill skills gaps and gain a competitive advantage. By bringing in expertise from trusted service providers that have retained and fought for the right skills, companies are bypassing the risk of falling behind and gaining all the value without the battle. Deloitte also believes that collaborating with MSPs to overcome the skills gap allows for the business to explore new revenue streams and new business avenues.

This move is also changing the shape of how the work is done, and how skills are appreciated within the business. MSPs provide talent that is focused on outcomes, innovation and deliverables within tight cost parameters and expectations. It is an approach that adds immense value to the business. Collaborating with an MSP to manage very specific gaps in your talent pool also allows you to simplify how you approach technology investments and strategy. If you know that you can rely on your MSP to provide support, expertise, implementation and management of innovative solutions, it opens up a lot more doors and gives you a lot more freedom.

Plus, as KMPG found, outsourcing saves costs, improves efficiencies, accelerates change and can save some sectors up to 50% on costs.

The skills gap doesn’t have to grow wider. It can be managed with an MSP that understands your business, your needs and your technology requirements and that has invested in the right strategies to ensure that talent is diverse, skilled and capable. 

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