Maintaining proper IT staffing levels has long been a challenge for many companies. The situation has gotten worse during the COVID-19 crisis – IT teams are understaffed and overworked, and many companies looking for ways to cut costs are setting their eyes on the IT budget.
Is your company’s IT team understaffed? If so, what should you do about it?
Are IT Teams Understaffed Today?
Recruiting firm Robert Half evaluated the state of tech hiring for the first half of 2020 and discovered that 69% of IT decision-makers plan to expand their teams. 86% of decision-makers say it’s challenging to find IT professionals today. The situation has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 crisis as the ranks of on-premises IT workers have been decimated. All the while demand has gone through the roof for IT staff to handle the needs of the newly-remote workforce.
Data gathered by CompTIA reveals that the unemployment rate for IT occupations is consistently below that of the overall U.S. unemployment rate – and, post-COVID, the gap is getting wider. As of May 2021, when the overall unemployment rate sat at 5.5%, the IT unemployment rate was less than half that, at an incredibly low 2.4%.
What Are the Consequences of Understaffing IT?
The bottom line is that a large number of IT teams are significantly understaffed at a time when their services are in increasing demand. An understaffed IT department is a significant vulnerability for their company.
A smaller IT team won’t be able to get all the work done. Instead of getting instant support when tech issues develop, employees may have to wait hours or days to get their problems resolved. This can result in unnecessary downtime across department lines and unsatisfied customers.
Lack of Protection from Ransomware and Other Cyber Threats
If you don’t have enough IT staff to deal with day-to-day tech issues, you definitely don’t have enough staff to protect your company against data breaches, ransomware, and other cyber threats. Now is the time to beef up your cybersecurity, not cut back.
High Employee Turnover
When an IT team is understaffed and overworked, workers will get tired and demoralized. It’s no fun and overwhelming working extra hours because the team is shorthanded. Employees eventually burn out and start looking for other jobs. Understaffing ultimately results in high IT staff turnover – which, in return, exacerbates the understaffing situation.
What Can You Do About IT Understaffing?
Here’s the first and most important thing to do in today’s understaffed IT environment – don’t make it worse. Now is not the time to cut corners on IT. You need to reinforce the IT staff, not cut it. There are a few ways your company can meet this challenge.
The first thing you need to do is step up recruiting efforts. Yes, there’s a shortage of skilled tech workers, which is why you need to get more aggressive in finding and attracting available talent.
Hire Temp or Part-Time Workers
Given that it can take months of training to bring a new IT employee up to speed, temporary or part-time workers may need to be hired to fill the gap before your team is fully staffed. Look for contract workers who can fill a specific short-term role in your tech plans.
Outside Support is Available
Outsourcing IT tasks is often the best approach when the in-house team is understaffed. Companies like phx-IT can fill both short-term and long-term roles for your company, providing the tech support needed when you don’t have enough people on your payroll to get the job done.
Let phx-IT Handle Your IT Needs
When your IT team is understaffed, turn to phx-IT for all of your IT outsourcing needs. We’ve been providing fast, efficient, in-person IT services to Phoenix-area businesses since 2005. We’ll make sure you’re not left in the lurch when your in-house team is short-handed.
Contact us today for more information about our IT outsourcing services.