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Gary Blower: Calling in An Expert – As and When you Need It!

Written by Gary Blower, Solutions Architect, Clearvision

Among the many ‘hard-to-fill’ and skills shortage vacancies in 2020 were IT programmers and software developers. As businesses looked to digitally transform, almost overnight, and move employees to remote working, they found that demand for skilled professionals outstripped supply.

And as restrictions lift and our digital world evolves, companies are finding that they need to increase their investment in new technologies to innovate and move forward. Not only will this give them an edge over the competition, but technology, automation and innovation drives profit and improves customer retention. However, with technology innovation comes a growing digital skills gap.

Filling the IT skills gap

 

Back in 2016, Sanjay Brahmawar, the global head of strategic business development for IBM’s Internet of Things business pointed out: “One of the biggest issues is going to be the gap in skills. Getting the skills required to analyse and manage data is going to be difficult. By 2020 we will have one million unfilled jobs in the IT sector. Primarily because the skills we have today aren’t the right skills for the future.”

This is just one of many comments and articles highlighting the ever-growing tech talent shortage, which is now at its highest level since 2008. Again, this recently published article from Deloitte suggests that less than half of executives believe they have the skills to compete and lead within the digital economy. It goes on to confirm that companies are heavily budgeting to invest in digital development and ways of working. Technologies such as AI are at the forefront of their investment. Indeed, 82% of executives plan to address the AI gap by 2021 and beyond.

Delivering ad-hoc help 

It could be argued that ‘big deployment or migration’ company shortfalls are easier to address. Issues arise when there is a lack of skills to implement or action ongoing updates, upgrades and other digital changes. Often it is the small to mid-sized organisations that suffer most, because they usually don’t have in-house experts or specialists in particular areas.

This means that as vendors release new products and features to enhance the user experience, so the more ‘generalist’ IT professionals struggle to keep up. Often software and hardware adoption can start as one install and then very quickly spread across the organisation organically and someone in IT is tasked with managing all these instances and expected to be an expert across multiple technical products. Likewise, it tends to be the small to mid-sized companies who are hit with IT staffing bottlenecks, especially if they have a big and demanding project which is consuming developer bandwidth and internal capacity.

Atlassian is a great example. Millions of users globally rely on Atlassian products every day for improving software development, project management, collaboration, and code quality. At the forefront of innovation, Atlassian is constantly releasing new products and features to enhance the user experience and it is hard for IT teams to keep abreast of all the latest updates while focusing on the day job. It is equally hard for these companies to really optimise their investment and ensure that the software is maximising RoI.

Putting you in control of costs

This is where our Atlassian Experts on Demand subscription-based service really helps, because it delivers an Atlassian expert as and when a company needs it. This is someone an organisation can tap into for expert guidance, advice and support, without the expense of committing to a long-term engagement. Through this service, organisations can book individual mentoring sessions, create a coaching plan for the team, or our Experts can just be available to assist with Atlassian-related initiatives. In response to customer demand, we have just launched the service and a number of our existing customers are already beta testing and benefiting from it.

Knowing that it will typically be the small-to-mid sized organisations that will utilise the service frequently, we based it on a subscription model as the cost per hour or day is lower. This enables customers to plan more effectively, as each credit grants access to a solution expert for up to half a day. Additionally, organisations can budget for this, rather than have unexpected costs at the end of the month; our fixed cost price puts them in control, and they aren’t hit with any nasty surprises.

Additionally, the flexibility of the service means they can tailor their Experts on Demand subscription to include whatever they require, so whether they are designing for digital transformation programmes, Agile/SAFe best practices, ITIL/ITSM/eSM best practices or just looking for continuous improvement, we can help. Furthermore, we provide ad hoc services such as one-to-one coaching and mentoring, training sessions, Q&A with an expert and health checks and problem solving.

Customer success is important to Clearvision

This is largely managed by our customer success team, because this is also about making sure that existing customers get the best out of their Atlassian solutions. All too often software ends up as shelfware and here at Clearvision we want to ensure that customers see the benefit of their investment and can quantify and measure the RoI.

As we slowly tread a path back to some kind of normality, technology and innovation will play a critical role to our recovery and here at Clearvision we are keen to level the playing field and make sure that those small to mid-sized organisations have access to the specialist skills, knowledge, support and expertise that they need in order to compete and remain relevant – both now and in the future. We recognise that there are times when IT teams just need a bit of support to push a project over the line, or they have a short-term staffing bottleneck, and we’re on hand to help.

For more information about Experts on Demand, please visit https://www.clearvision-cm.com/atlassian/experts-on-demand/.