An important lesson many businesses have learned since the outbreak of Covid-19 is that sending people home with a Google Meet code might help slow a pandemic, but it is not sufficient for keeping a sustainable business. And neither is sitting around hoping things will return to the way they were in December, 2019. The world – and business – has changed. And if history has proven anything, it’s that the businesses that can adapt to their circumstances are the ones that dominate their markets. Leaders need to find ways to be proactive to keep up with competition in a global economy.
There are silver linings, if you know where to look. Businesses that see ways to pivot through the changing times, and to distinguish themselves, are able not just to survive, but to thrive. Restaurants found ways to deliver and added outdoor patios, fitness clubs added virtual classes and took their equipment outdoors and many other examples.
The Information Technology sector is no exception. According to some estimates, the Information Technology sector has faired abnormally well, with as much as 62% of the industry having expanded their workforce during the pandemic.
There are at least three reasons for this. First, much of their work can be done off-site or during off-hours, allowing to meet the imposed guidelines for physical distancing . Second, companies in this sector are already familiar with the technologies that allow remote collaboration – that others are forced to learn.
And third, many businesses in the IT sector already leverage the benefits of outsourcing services. As businesses were forced to send their own staff home, they were able to quickly re-align their business models either to incorporate or expand their use of trusted, outsourced partnerships. This allowed their primary teams to focus on core business needs, even at the height of the pandemic.
The future of hiring in IT: Competing with top-tier businesses
The era of office-centricity – and hiring only local teams – is over.
Remote work has become the “new normal” in the post-COVID world. And the change has been stark. Businesses that hadn’t previously considered it a viable strategy – and that pivoted to it begrudgingly and often inefficiently when faced with government mandates – are now finding remote work as an enabler to increase productivity, happiness, and engagement.
This has led to many tech firms (including giants like Facebook and Twitter) to develop resourcing models that include remote work and use of nearshore contractors as a permanent strategy. If you think this sounds great for them but it won’t affect you, think again. These organizations, with their generous benefit packages and pay scales will pull even more talent out of the market, affecting every business that deals with IT.
Moreover, as an increased share of the workforce works remotely, it no longer matters how remotely they work. The next street over is just as good as the next state, or even another country. Competitive companies that adopt remote work as a permanent strategy are no longer limited to hiring in their local markets. Global giants – including Amazon – are already recognizing this value and are hunting for talent outside the US, in markets including South America.
The war for talent has become more global, and even more competitive, than ever before.
Rethink business as usual; build partnerships
COVID-19 has forced companies of all sizes, from startups to global conglomerates, to rethink every facet of their business model – from how they’re managed and collaborate internally to how they interact with customers and suppliers.
COVID-19 has also shortened the timeline companies have to strategize. Major airlines, gas and oil companies, retail chains, and more have all fallen victim to the economic ravages of COVID-19. Some of these companies – such as airlines – simply weren’t viable in a world of physical and social distancing. But others are in industries with competitors who are thriving.
The difference? Companies that thrive in adversity are able to redefine aspects of their organization that had previously seemed immutable. They proved themselves:
• Flexible enough to adjust to a changing economy
• Capable of keeping their teams focused on core activities, even as workday routines imploded
• Able to find fruitful partnerships that enrich and strengthen their skills and share the work load
Working remotely – strategically
Having a remote workforce means more than simply sending your employees home and following up over Zoom. It means developing a strategy that can keep your team focused on core business goals.
To accomplish this, the future of work will be more flexible than in the past. More and more, hybrid teams that include members of the company and outsourced contractors will create synergies that enable core teams to focus on core business needs and business-specific expertise, while other tasks such as IT and software development tasks are performed by trusted partners.
These mature remote practices will allow collaborations with diverse teams. In a positive feedback loop, this will increase the range of skills and expertise companies have at their disposal, which will increase the use of trusted partners, which will further increase the range of skills and expertise companies have at their disposal… and on and on in an increasingly positive loop that benefits customers and end-users the most.
Remote Work: aka “Business as Usual”
At Proximiteam, we’re helping our clients pivot to meet today’s challenges. Let us help you adapt your software development teams to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve time to market, by integrating our professional developers into your teams.
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