Solving Your IT Talent Shortage: Upskill or Outsource?

Community Contributor
3 min read

The global tech talent shortage is real and caused by many factors, including:

  • High demand for digital transformation
  • The pandemic
  • The great retirement/the great migration/the big quit
  • Talent retention challenges
  • Newer technologies and more fun at other companies

As organizations worldwide try to crack the code on their skills gaps, how will you solve your IT talent shortage? Upskilling your IT team and outsourcing IT tasks through managed services are two potential options. What are the benefits of each? Which is best for you?

Advantages of Upskilling Your IT Team

Upskilling can be beneficial. A PwC study found that organizations with upskilling programs realized gains beyond improved skills, achieving outcomes that included:1

  • Higher workforce productivity
  • Greater innovation and accelerated digital transformation
  • Greater business growth
  • Stronger corporate culture and employee engagement
  • Improved talent acquisition and retention

Those organizations that were the most advanced in their upskilling programs had the greatest gains.

Other benefits of upskilling your IT team are increased customer satisfaction and the ability to maintain the organization’s competitive position in the market.2 Employees with greater skills are generally better able to solve customer issues and keep up with the industry.

Importantly, upskilling can also help organizations retain tribal knowledge that can help grow and evolve the enterprise. And upskilling IT experts who have business knowledge can enable even stronger business-based technology decisions.

While companies may have concerns that more highly skilled team members they have invested in will leave for other opportunities, that concern can also exist without upskilling. Ultimately, as indicated by the PwC study, upskilling can yield additional benefits, and undoubtedly, it is always better to have a more highly skilled IT team than not.

Advantages of Outsourcing Through Managed Services

There can be significant advantages to outsourcing IT tasks through managed services for software support and application management, including:3

  • Greater depth of expertise and experience
  • Ability to focus the internal team on the most critical needs of the business
  • Ability to implement the latest technology and drive business growth
  • Increased efficiency for competitive advantage
  • Specific expertise in security and compliance
  • Cost savings and cost control

Outsourcing IT can quickly create flexible capacity (including resources, timing, and duration of engagement) without a technology learning curve. Managed services providers can help extend the life of customized existing systems, deliver value-added services, and help organizations streamline or eliminate multi-vendor models and reduce dependence on contractors.

Unlike upskilling, outsourcing IT provides immediate, proven expertise and — in times when organizations are trying to do more with less — does not include the stress of time away from work for the IT team.4

Upskilling Versus Outsourcing: Which Option Is Best for You?

When it comes to solving an IT talent shortage, there can be many viable options. There is no single right answer and no “one size fits all” solution. Some skills are better candidates for upskilling than others; some needs for outsourced IT expertise that frees up the internal team are more immediate than others; and the best approach to maintaining and integrating tribal knowledge can vary.

Companies looking to optimize talent resources should:

  • Compare their current state to the desired state
  • Document the gaps
  • Identify the available budget and ideal timing (level of urgency) to fill the gaps

They should then consider all potential solutions, including upskilling and outsourced managed services such as Rimini Street unified software services. A hybrid approach that delivers the best of both worlds may prove to be the best solution.

Read the Gartner Report

For more information on how to find the talent you need to achieve your goals, read the Gartner® report, “Quick Answer: How to Address and Plan for the Increasingly Severe IT Talent Shortage?” It has valuable strategies for addressing recruitment, plus insights on the role of a managed services partner in closing critical IT skills gaps.

You may also like the e-book, “Solving the Tech Talent Shortage,” featuring success stories from a variety of organizations who are partnering with Rimini Street to solve their talent challenges.

1 PwC Talent trends 2020, “Upskilling: Building confidence in an uncertain world,” Findings from PwC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, 2020

2 TechTarget WhatIs.com, “upskilling” Definition, February 17, 2020

3 Envision IT Solutions, “Top 7 Benefits of Outsourcing your IT through Managed Services,” April 27, 2021

4 People Matters, “The real problems with upskilling,” September 7, 2020