Skip to main content

Using crowdsourcing’s ammunition to win the IT talent war

We are constantly hearing that for companies to drive innovation, transformation and competitive advantage, they need to ingrain technology into every part of their business. Surprisingly, IT talent is talked about far less. It is these people that are responsible for architecting, developing, testing, managing and supporting technology innovation for their own organisations, and for their customers.

As many have found, sourcing and hiring this IT talent is a significant – and costly – challenge, as new millennial workers begin to demand a completely new way of working in return for access to their skills. This is forcing businesses to create compensation packages that are unsustainable, compromise on the quality and experience of candidates, or defer hiring decisions altogether.

But a limited IT capacity – whether skills or resource - can result in substantial delays for internal projects and customer implementations, with Appirio’s future of work report finding that at least 25 per cent of IT projects are abandoned altogether. Shockingly, those that are completed, are delayed by five months on average. McKinsey has estimated that nearly 17 per cent of IT projects go so wrong that they threaten the existence of the company, and globally, inefficiencies cost nearly three trillion dollars a year. The impact of the talent gap ripples far beyond IT.

To bridge the gap and meet demand for IT talent, forward-thinking companies are now turning to crowdsourcing as a solution to many of their challenges. Crowdsourcing provides an ‘elastic’ talent pool that you can dip in and out of, dependent on requirements. What’s more, the best crowdsource communities are packed full of uniquely and highly skilled individuals and teams, ready to deploy their skills to help drive innovation and execute effectively.

As well as answering immediate resource issues, it also provides a great solution to the talent gap, by providing access to specialist technical skills that can often be required on a project-by-project basis, or to bolster existing teams and in-house skills.

Additionally, the competitive nature of acquiring these skills – an RFP process giving employers the option to select the best of the responses to any given brief – and the fact that these skills and projects are paid for based on results (not time or effort), makes the rationale for tapping into this pool of talent and expertise even more compelling.

With the recruitment of IT talent getting more challenging all the time, all businesses need to follow the example set by the forward thinking few and take advantage of the crowd or risk being left behind.

Tim Medforth, senior vice president, Appirio's international business