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Trust and Passion Attract Top Talent; Outsourcing Drives It Away

Hiring Broken

I wrote a white paper called "New Mobile Technology Requires a New Breed of IT Leadership." In it, I explain why it takes a new breed of IT leadership to successfully attract talent in today's market.

IT leaders are becoming concerned about how hard it is to find the talent they need, especially now with the rise of mobile devices. As pointed out earlier this week in the article Advice for Hiring Top Tech Talent, traditional ways of finding talent are not working. And once you find someone you want, how do you keep them? My answer: Top talent needs top leadership talent, leadership that creates an open, trusted, and passionate work environment. They want interesting work and unique learning and growth opportunities.

If you've decided to outsource development and innovation, you will have two problems. First, you will find it hard to create a top-flight team. Second, you will find that it is much harder to make an outsourcing strategy work with respect to mobile app development.

Internal Talent Scarce

Internal talent development has been scarce. In an effort to save costs, many high performers have been laid off and replaced by vendor consultants through “strategic partnerships.” This is now creating a gap where internal talent is missing and where the remaining internal IT staff are mostly busy coordinating vendor consultants who are doing the heavy lifting.

This model worked for the last ten years, when enterprises largely relied on Microsoft for their basic office productivity infrastructure, large hardware vendors like HP, Dell, IBM, and EMC for their end-user and data center computing devices, and Cisco to connect them all. It was easy to have these vendors provide experienced contractors; after all, every enterprise was implementing more or less the same solutions.

The Move to Mobility

With the transition to mobility, this model is drastically changing. For a start, the two leading companies in this space are Apple and Google, but with a primary focus on the consumer market, they are not equipped to provide consulting services like the traditional enterprise vendors. Both Apple and Google have teamed with local implementation companies, but this becomes increasingly complex for large enterprises to manage, as these local implementation companies are bidding for their consulting services and reselling Apple or Google solutions.

Enterprises typically have a long list of legacy hardware and solutions, which don't exactly add up to an exciting work environment. Top talent wants an environment where they can learn something new. Dealing with the migration of legacy systems into new infrastructures won't attract new talent; you're better off to keep workers with legacy skills who aren't interested in learning new things to handle these tasks and maintain or help transition legacy solutions.

The new breed of IT leadership must recognize that to attract top talent, they will need to provide work that is respected and exciting, enabling new hires to work with other top talent and find career advancing opportunities. And without top talent with the latest skills, enterprise IT will find itself in a position where legacy solutions create a large dependency and hinder a timely transition to mobility.

For more about this topic, check out my latest white paper, New Mobile Technology Requires a New Breed of IT Leadership.

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