The Challenge In 2015 Is Change Management
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The Challenge In 2015 Is Change Management

What do you need to do to gain access to the skills you need while protecting your investment? 

(As told by SureSkills CTO Kevin Reid) - After over half a decade of tough times, it is heartening to see the economy moving back on the right path. Businesses are increasingly in a position to invest in new systems or to upgrade those that have exceeded their useful life and, equally important, to plan for their next generation of ICT. As a result, there are lots ofpredictions around this time of the year that 2015 will be ‘The Year of X’, whatever X might be. There are certainly plenty of candidates for hype. 

But in truth that’s all fairly superficial. This increased activity that the industry anticipates, brings with it a more fundamental challenge - access to the necessary skills and experience. Another factor to be considered is the relative scarcity and increasing expense of those skills. Acquiring them or upskilling existing staff also raises other questions in an IT labour market that is becoming fluid again. 

So the 2015 question for business ICT is what do you need to do to gain access to the skills you need while protecting your investment? The answer, or at least one effective answer, is a limited form of outsourcing. Most organisations do not want to hand over everything. That is not necessarily just being conservative; after all there is much truth in that old outsourcing mantra ‘do what you do best….’ 

Instead, you need to focus on the bits that could be effectively moved to an external service provider. You also need to look hard at those technical skills that are essentially ‘one-off’ rather than an ongoing requirement. The obvious example is upgrading core systems and infrastructure, while there will be skills and experience needed for projects that will be redundant after completion. 

There are three things that we now focus on in this whole area, ‘pillars of change’, as we call them. The first is straightforward, executing the change, whether they are new systems or upgrades. Typically, it is outsourced to experts in the relevant fields, in part because internal IT is traditionally focussed on sustainment. 

The second piece is transition planning, which is a combination of a range of elements such as defining SLAs and ensuring that you have a competency map for your own IT staff into the future. That is extremely important, all the way down to individual training and certification, because that is what will support your IT future. 

The final part is where you take all of the transition information and deliver it to the support function. That could be internal or a managed service with the key element being that it is handed over appropriately and professionally. 

There are many drivers for all of this in 2015. Microsoft end-of-life for Server 2003 is going to feature strongly. But so will the question of what might be moved to the cloud with demonstrable business benefit - and indeed what form of cloud? But a successful outcome to all those decisions will rest on the platforms of effective change management and the skills to sustain the ICT investment into the future. The specific technologies are each important, of course, but having coped with rolling technology changes in ICT for generations we know they are not fundamental. The challenge in 2015 is likely to be the surge of change and the ability to manage it in an optimum manner, in a highly dynamic ICT environment that places an increasing premium on appropriate skills. 

To Learn how your business can cope with this rapidly changing environment contact one of our consultants today on Dublin; 01 240 2277 - email or Belfast; 028 9093 5555 - email

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