Challenges in IT Infrastructure Hiring
Today, technology infrastructure is evolving at a great rate. Companies and organizations are examining and migrating more data and processes to the cloud, mobility continues as a rapidly evolving trend, and an increasingly complex array of devices are being integrated into systems.
According to Gartner, spending on cloud technologies is soon expected to reach $180 billion and Cisco forecasts that global data center traffic is on track to triple from 2.6 zettabytes in 2012 to 7.7 zettabytes annually in 2017, representing a 25 percent CAGR.
It’s clear that technology infrastructure is evolving at incredible rates. Companies, organizations, and governments aren’t so much relying on technology; they are relying on an ability to be nimble, evolve existing systems, and adopt new processes. In the midst of all of this evolution, security continues to be an ever present need.
But there is another aspect of this technological surge that is often overlooked: people. Finding qualified people to implement new technologies, maintain existing infrastructure, providing responsive user support, and doing all of that securely is a major bottleneck. In addition, many of these needs arise very quickly. From rapid project turnaround to crisis reaction, the right people to get the job done often need to be deployed very quickly. And here is the challenge: technology may move at light speed, but humans are still tethered to the speed of an airliner.
IT infrastructure and finding the people to implement a plan in that space are two separate skillsets. Recognizing that difference is crucial. For example, Lehigh Technical has worked with software and hardware implementation providers, major Fortune 500 multinationals, government entities, and institutions to quickly identify and hire hardware technicians, network engineers, helpdesk personnel, data center techs, project managers, and many more IT professionals for short and long term projects.
Our clients are now able to focus on their core competency and can perform that core competency more effectively and efficiently.
Challenge: Quick Ramp Ups
One of the first challenges within this space is that companies need to implement a series of projects in order to evolve and compete. It is nearly impossible for a team to simply exist, at the ready to tackle the next challenge. Projects in large enterprises often roll out across national and international geographies requiring a team to be assembled and deployed. Quickly identifying that highly qualified team, vetting candidates, and making hiring decisions fast is essential to success.
For example, Lehigh Technical works on many such projects with a network services company which provides communications and infrastructure solutions to a wide range of clients and industry sectors. They are a value-added reseller of platforms and applications from top manufacturers, and they also provide their own line of technology products and services to design, build, and maintain voice and data networks.
Lehigh Technical recently worked with this company on a series of high-level projects for a major international financial institution. These projects required as many 80 people across 40 different locations. And it all had to happen on a tight timeline. Working with Lehigh Technical, the client was able to have personnel in place, beginning to work within the tight 15 day timetable.
Lehigh Technical was able to tap into its national network of offices (110+) as well as into its National Recruiting Center. Because the people and technology at Lehigh Technical are focused on searching across expertise and geographies, Lehigh Technical and the client were able to ramp up the project quickly. This included not only identifying qualified candidates, but performing background checks, drug tests, credit checks, and everything required for candidates to work at the financial institution for this project.
In this case, the focus on core competency was a win-win-win. Our client was able to focus on its hardware procurement and project management, while the financial institution focused on its customers and their security. Working with Lehigh Technical, neither party needed to lose focus on their core competency leading to strong results overall.
Challenge: Skills and Culture
As companies migrate systems, the human element always makes itself evident. Not only do contractors need to possess the skills necessary implement new software and hardware solutions, they also need to be the right cultural fit to seamlessly work within the corporate culture.
For example, Lehigh Technical has worked with a leading tech support company on supplying software migration for multinational companies in wide range of industries.
This particular client is the largest independent technology support organization in North America, delivering comprehensive IT solutions to, among others, retail, healthcare, transportation, and government organizations. Their portfolio includes onsite and remote Hardware Services, Forward/Reverse Logistics and Supply Chain Management services, and Managed Services that include outsourced solutions and support desk services.
Because Lehigh Technical is working with this company in such a wide range of industries and because much of this work involves helpdesk and support services, it is vital to match expertise and personality. Not only do employees have to provide a human touch – after all they are dealing with help desk as well as break-fix issues that can often be stressful for everyone involved – but they also need the ability to understand that particular industry, often with its own niche demands.
Serving industries as diverse as financial service, pharmaceuticals, government entities, and consumer retail brands, requires an ability to understand the pressures and goals of each organization. In addition, many of these projects require a high toleration for stress. Project deadlines are tight and there is little room for error as systems are migrated and sometimes physically moved and set back up in a matter of hours. Some help desk response times are under four minutes. For industries such as banking and medicine, there is little choice when so much is at stake.
For this reason, Lehigh Technical not only screens for skills, but also for personality and disposition – a challenge when many areas of IT currently have unemployment rates nearing 0% making finding qualified candidates a challenge. But the success of a new technology may hinge on the people implementing it and their ability to do so in a disruptive, responsive fashion. Finding the right person for the job is a process that encompasses more than skillsets.
As technologies change and evolve, so to must the strategies for implementing them. There was a time when IT was one part of doing business. Now it impacts every aspect of business. The only way to successfully implement and support IT infrastructure today is to focus on the core expertise of each party involved. Technology providers and integrators are able to create and implement strategy, end user are able to provide industry insight and develop bespoke solutions and staffing experts like Lehigh Technical are able to bring together the right team to implement these solutions.
At the end of the day, people implement, maintain, and fix IT infrastructure. Only with the right people in the right jobs at the right time can the benefits of the ongoing IT evolution be fully realized.