The COVID-19 crisis contributed to an ever-accelerating digital transformation, as we need technology more than ever: To communicate with loved ones, to make our lives easier and especially to help schools, businesses and other organisations run efficiently and effectively.
The IT labour shortage in the UK and Europe has increased over the past year: As noted in our report Latest IT Trends: Mapping the Future of IT and Operations in 2022 13% of all UK job vacancies are tech-related roles. So what can a business owner or manager do about the IT worker shortage
What's causing the IT labour shortage?
The IT worker shortage isn’t necessarily new. Businesses have known for years that the adoption of new technologies is outpacing the abilities of the human beings who need to deploy them. Some of the shortage can be traced back to organisations’ hesitance to invest in training for inexperienced employees, preferring instead to hire those with experience – a limited pool that is getting smaller.
When the global pandemic hit, shifts in the way we work caused the IT labour shortage to accelerate even more. As businesses scaled up remote work, they suddenly needed to build new digital infrastructures – and they needed more employees with new areas of expertise, like cloud computing, mobile device security and networking. Our report notes that 20% of leaders say their scope of work has expanded to areas beyond IT.
With increased demand for their skills, IT workers found themselves in better negotiating positions. That could be why wages for technology roles have seen the highest salary increase when compared to other professions.
4 Ways to Combat the IT Labour Shortage
New technologies undoubtedly benefit your business, school or organisation. While it may feel like the IT worker shortage is beyond your control, there are solutions you can implement to help mitigate its effects and find new ways of operating.
Many organisations are still operating on the old-school model: When an IT worker quits, they backfill the role. But now, with so many leaders focused on implementing emerging technologies, it’s a good bet that you’re going to need to grow your IT team in the future. So why not forward-fill, instead of backfill?
Get ahead of the IT labour shortage by making a plan detailing which tech you want to roll out and when, then focus on hiring ahead of time. Better yet, prioritise operational capabilities over external growth to help improve your IT resiliency and accelerate long-term growth.
Modernise Your Tech
Modernising your tech in other areas of your organisation is often a priority, but what about the tech that makes it possible for your IT team to do their jobs? Is there an existing software, API or AI-enabled tool that could help you mitigate the IT labour shortage by eliminating the need to hire a new person?
Also consider how you can more fully modernise your existing tech. If your organisation uses mobile devices like tablets or laptops, for example, you don’t just want to ensure those are up-to-date. You’ll also want to make sure you have the best charging stations not only for your current devices but for future technology as well.
Automate Your Workflow
The costs of device repair, replacement and sharing go beyond the price of the device itself. When calculating an average labour cost, one hour per exchange and 5 exchanges per location, nearly 250+ hours and £20,975/€23,529+ is spent annually by an IT team manually exchanging devices.
Automating your break/fix and check in/out workflows can save your team hundreds of hours – time that’s particularly valuable during an IT worker shortage.
With a smart locker like the FUYL Tower, you can allow access to a designated bay via RFID or PIN, eliminating the need for slow, face-to-face drop-off and pick-up processes. When a device user, such as a student or employee, submits a request to your Help Desk, your IT team can respond remotely, allowing the student or employee to quickly trade their broken device from a FUYL Tower and get back to being productive. French private educational institution Vauban chose the FUYL Tower to automate their device exchange and equipment lending processes, saving them time and resources. And Arbor Park School District 145 saw these benefits first-hand.
CTO David Termunde says, “The Tower is like having another part-time IT person.”
Improve Device Tracking and Security
When it comes to a check in/out workflow, tech teams and department managers are wasting time managing daily device checkouts for people like shift workers, substitute teachers and others.
Yet 86% of IT professionals report that someone in their organisation has had a laptop lost or stolen – and 56% said it resulted in a data breach. Dealing with lost devices is time-consuming, and there’s simply no extra time for unnecessary breaches.
The FUYL Tower perfectly complements your device tracking strategy, helping to improve accountability and ensure devices are returned, plugged in and ready for the next user. Lost devices are reported more quickly so that security processes can be implemented. And it’s easy to regulate who can access devices and when, and help track when devices are returned, helping improve overall device security.
There’s no easy answer to the IT labour shortage. A long-term fix will likely include elements of training, higher pay and benefits and better planning. For now, organisations are smart to look at their device management strategies as one area with a high potential for cost savings and operational efficiencies. Contact the experts at LocknCharge to start improving your strategy today.