It's perhaps a debatable use of language but the so called 'IT labour market' seemingly continues to grow. The word 'boom' has been used. And yet there's a counter intuitive problem arising. Despite this being a period of growth, companies are finding it hard to recruit IT people.
This weekend I was booking a hire car online from the UK. I went to the website of a highly reputable organisation and selected the airport in Florida from where I needed to collect the car. Next drop down box is where I wanted to drop it off. Click. Next box - the dates and times.
Even now the implications of BREXIT remain as unpredictable as ever. The fact of its happening is a given. The machinations of implementing it I’ll leave to the politicians. But, the implications of it are far from certain; because they’re so diverse.
At some point, if your organisation or business is to survive, it will need to undergo change. Managing that change, especially if it involves leveraging it through technology, will need to be an integral part of your strategy.
And yet, as I have often argued, the need for external, but informed, expertise is the best way to ensure that your integral IT solutions are best addressed.
That may sound counter intuitive, or just plain contradictory, but it’s worth thinking through. Delivering business change through IT is what I do, and over the last few years I’ve realised that one key reason for a business to need my services is not that they’re about to change what they do, or even how they do it; they need to implement change because their current IT systems no longer meet the needs of the organisation as it stands.
If your company has a long history, stretching back to the pre-digital age, it will have undergone significant changes at several key stages. Production methods will have altered. There will have been increasing choice of media through which to promote the business.
And of course, came the day, the computers arrived. After that the systems became part of what was to become ‘IT’.
Even if your business has a shorter time line, and it came into existence after the digital revolution, the chances are that the systems that were installed originally are not the ones to take you too much further into the future.
It’s often said that the one advantage small businesses have over big ones is that they are more ‘fleet of foot’. They can adjust to change more rapidly, and change direction more easily. The old sailing boat compared to an oil tanker analogy springs to mind.
Whilst there’s considerable truth in that, managing the changes needed to grow, diversify and stay up to speed is a process that shouldn’t differ wildly with the size of the organisation involved.
Running your business involves dozens, possibly thousands, of projects. Each individual job, contract, or sale, is a project. Every system, with its attendant monitoring and controls is a project. They are all tasks, and the people involved are familiar with them. They know what they’re doing, and a good project manager will have created the right team to deliver each part of the task to bring it to fruition.
It’s perhaps not the most elegant of metaphors but it works very well. Your business, depending on its size and complexity, will have numerous tasks and communications that need carrying out every day. They are what makes your business ‘happen’. But nothing ‘happens’ if those tasks can’t be carried out, or those communications carried, efficiently and cost effectively. They need a reliable, fir for purpose medium to carry them. In short, the ‘roads’ or infrastructure of your business is your IT system.