Technology Integration: Adapting to Workforce Obstacles

Technology Integration and Outsourcing

Digital transformation is a key imperative for a large number of businesses today. Organisations across all industries now need the advantages of optimised IT infrastructures to stay agile and achieve business innovation in an increasingly competitive market. 

Yet, achieving digital transformation isn’t always easy. Businesses looking to update their IT now face a number of challenges, including issues navigating strategy, cost, compliance, security, sustainability, and choosing the right third-party suppliers. 

The most daunting of these challenges is the management of the IT workforce itself. Due to the known ongoing tech-skills shortage crisis, the UK is facing a shortage of talent with experience in certain complex industries. This shortage, in turn, makes it harder for businesses to understand the inherent challenges their IT needs to be equipped to deal with. Many businesses are outsourcing to deal with this crisis. But is there a better way? Could nearshoring provide a more strategic solution? 

This article will explain some of the key workforce obstacles that modern enterprises now face, as well as how nearshoring, and collaboration with trusted partners, could be the way forward. 

What Workforce Obstacles do Businesses Face?

So, what issues are currently the most pressing to IT decision makers? 

To answer this, Opticore conducted a Censuswide survey of over 500 executives from a number of small to large-scale enterprises across a wide range of industries. From this data, we were able to determine some of the key workforce obstacles that businesses face in their IT management.

IT Infrastructure & Cybersecurity 

For starters, many executives felt their infrastructures were not currently fit for purpose or are based on hardware and software that is close to, or past the end of life. Indeed, approximately half of all respondents highlighted that there are potential areas for improvement in their business. 

Meanwhile, companies from all sectors highlighted that they anticipated: “significant challenges and uncertainties” — with 40% of legal company respondents and 33% of finance sector respondents showing the most concern of all. Why are these sectors reporting the most concern about updating their infrastructure?

Firstly, the nature of these businesses means that their data is more valuable to cybercriminals — meaning that network security is a high priority to them. Furthermore, the majority of respondents claimed to have been faced with at least 49 cyberattacks in the past month. This appears to validate data from the NCC Group, revealing that ransomware attacks have intensified by 81%, year-on-year, as of October 2023.

However, the majority of respondents who claimed to have faced the most cyberattacks in the past month were all organisations that employed at least 500 people or more. This, in turn, suggests that the larger the enterprise is, the bigger the target they become. Having said this, many startup companies trying to get off the ground are often far easier targets for hackers than the bigger companies but, worryingly, don’t have visibility of the attacks they face.

Recruitment & Training

Recruitment of the right talent also seems to be a major sticking point for our respondents. Industries such as healthcare, travel and transport, HR and legal all highlighted a chronic shortage of trained staff coupled with difficulties in recruiting qualified software/IT engineers.

Yet again, we see that the size of a business can also present a barrier to accessing highly-qualified talent; particularly for smaller-sized businesses in the above-mentioned sectors. This could be because many of these businesses can’t allocate a salary and role for specialist IT roles, such as network engineers. Instead, they often rely on managed services to get the IT support they need when they need it. For example, senior network engineers can cost between £50-120k, which can make them prohibitively expensive for smaller businesses that might not need them all the time. This is when specialist engineers can come in on a consultancy basis to periodically offer their services.

Lack of relevant experience is also a concern in many sectors. For example, 40% of respondents from the legal sector highlighted that their team needs a lot of hand-holding when it comes to regulations and has noticeable knowledge gaps. In contrast, sectors such as HR (11%) stated that their teams needed very little assistance. Why is this?

The answer could be that legal and finance industries are highly regulated, meaning that IT compliance is a priority. Stakeholders in these industries want to be confident that the engineers working on their IT infrastructure understand the nuances of these regulations, and can build networks and systems that can be quickly and easily updated in the event of a change in legislation.

Outsourcing & Nearshoring 

Our research found that companies with smaller turnovers (under £100,000) were more likely to look to outsource their IT support. 

Again, it seems as though the more complex the industry, the harder it becomes to improve integration and relationships with external IT support teams. Legal sector respondents highlighted that the onboarding processes for external support teams are often too complex for their staff, and said teams/staff need more transparency. None of our legal respondents claimed that their external support teams are well qualified, while 40% said the quality and speed of outsourced IT projects can be poor.

How Can Outsourcing Improve Technology Integration? 

With all these issues in mind, how can outsourcing actually improve technology integration and business innovation — especially when we know that many industries face unique challenges and already struggle to find partners with the right experience? 

The main thing to note is that outsourcing your IT needs can help you access a larger pool of talent than you could manage by sticking with in-house teams — making it far more likely for your enterprise to find the partner with the precise skills and experience that you need to carry out your IT work successfully. 

Furthermore, outsourcing presents an opportunity for businesses of all sizes and sectors to access a more affordable option on an as-needed basis, via a managed service for example, rather than employ full-time engineers on expensive retainers. 

However, outsourcing can often turn into offshoring, which comes loaded with its own problems. The disadvantage of this approach is that companies will often opt to simply offshore their IT issues to workers in the cheapest locations they can find, rather than the one that’s optimum for their needs or who best align with their culture and industry. This can mean communications issues with these third parties, or dealing with suppliers who don’t understand the inherent complexities of the aforementioned industries. 

Because of this, it’s clear that businesses are wary of working with external teams they don’t know and trust. Many have had poor experiences with third-parties in the past, and would 

benefit from working with a partner who has the success of their clients’ digital transformation as their primary objective. This is where Opticore can help.

Conclusion

Opticore’s can help you manage your network services to ensure your technology integration is smooth sailing.

With our expert workforce, Opticore has the specialist knowledge in IT and cloud networks and rather than recommending offshoring, we take an onshore and nearshore approach meaning we are able to support your digital transformation in the locations that are important to you. Our services and solutions are entirely based around your needs and objectives so we’ll always provide you with the specific skills and resources that are best suited to enhance your business. 

So, if you’d like to understand more about how our consultancy service can help you, read about Our Solutions now.