Your business has just landed a huge account. It’s an incredible project that could deliver a major boost to your company’s image. But there’s a big problem: one of your lead developers is on maternity leave, another two just recently retired and your most versatile developer has taken a six-week leave of absence. This has left your development team stretched very thin and now you’re faced with the time-consuming and costly task of finding some temporary employees. You simply cannot drop the ball on this new project.
The hard reality is that cross-training, continuing education and investing in the top tech certifications can go a long way toward preventing this type of scenario. And it’s one that could arise on a more frequent basis.
The tech industry is growing at a tremendous rate, so demand for software development and IT skills is only going to rise. In fact, New Horizons indicated that in 2015, IT spending topped $3.517 trillion dollars worldwide. U.S.-based spending in the application software training market sector has grown dramatically too, rising from $5.2 billion in 2011, to $6.2 billion in 2016. Those numbers don’t include spending on in-person training courses, either.
It’s clear that the demand for technology-related services is rising. This underscores the importance of preventing work slowdowns or stoppages, while also keeping your enterprise highly competitive. Continued education and skill growth are more important than ever before.
Why is Ongoing Training Important in the Tech Industry?
The top companies, including iTech, are early adopters who upgrade their hardware every two years (if not sooner), to remain on the industry’s cutting edge. This two-year timeframe is based upon the theory known as Moore’s Law, and while new revelations have led many to conclude that Moore’s Law is no longer valid, it’s still good practice to update your hardware on a bi-annual basis. Software should be updated as new versions become available.
But software and hardware account for just two pieces of the equation. Talent is another major ingredient in the recipe for success. Your staff’s training, skills and knowledge have a massive impact on productivity levels and thus, your bottom line.
Since technology evolves at such a rapid pace, it’s impractical to expect your tech skills, strategies and techniques to remain valid and effective for any prolonged period of time. New coding languages, hardware, software, technology, and development strategies are constantly emerging.
Highly-trained tech experts who possess a wide range of skills deliver numerous perks and advantages, such as:
- Reduced costs associated with recruiting, hiring and new employee training/orientation;
- Improved productivity from an ability to fill gaps that arise from sick days and vacation days;
- Decreased reliance upon third-parties, such as outsourcing service providers and temp agencies; and
- Improved workflow due to each individual’s broader knowledge base and skill set.
Ongoing training also allows you to remain on the cutting edge of technology, which, in turn, improves productivity, profit margin and your bottom line. Investing in regular training allows companies to gain a competitive advantage, while increasing the value and versatility of your staffers.
One of the most effective strategies, particularly for large companies, involves calling in a trainer to work with your talent in-house. This saves on travel-related spending and the overall cost of training, since companies tend to get a better value when they hire a trainer to work with a large group (versus sending employees to an off-site training program on an individual basis.)
Versatility and Broadening Skill Sets Through Cross-Training
Companies can see a major financial and workflow benefit from investing in cross-training for employees. When a staff member can fulfill multiple roles, that frees up resources for other tasks on an as-needed basis. This makes it far easier to maintain a consistent level of productivity, despite holidays, sick days or temporary but unexpected increases in workload.
The tech industry has no shortage of programming languages and tech niches. Meanwhile, new hardware and software releases occur on a continual rolling basis. This makes it impractical to cross-train staff to perform all aspects of another staffer’s job. But company leaders and supervisors can identify some of the most commonly used skillsâ€”skills that will serve as the basis of your training initiative.
Investing in IT and Tech Certifications
Microsoft (MS) and Cisco certifications are generally viewed as elements of an entry-level skill set. Still, companies can benefit from investing in them, because MS and Cisco training can provide insights that allow for improved on-the-job performance.
What’s more, the most successful ventures tend to be those that invest in cross-training for their staff, as this allows for greater flexibility and productivity. So while you may not have one person who can fulfill all of the tasks associated with a specific position, it can be extremely useful to divide the workload amongst multiple individuals. That workload often involves a blend of entry-level skills and more specialized, high-level skills.
Implementing Other Software Project Staffing Strategies
Even with continuing education and cross-trained staff, you may encounter a project that demands resources and skills that you just don’t possess. When this happens, some businesses look immediately at outsourcing. But outsourcing comes with its own unique challenges, challenges that have prompted companies to search for an alternative staffing solution. Enter insourcing. Insourcing (iTech’s specialty) involves the dispatch of a qualified, pre-vetted and well-established team that’s embedded in your company’s staff. Once the project is completed, the team departs, returning to iTech.
This strategy lets clients oversee the project in-house, without the time, cost and hassles associated with recruiting, hiring and training new talent. Contact iTech today to learn more about the benefits of insourcing for your next IT or development project.