With numerous global reports and fast-breaking tech trends to synthesize, it can be daunting to sift through all the latest news about IT and software development outsourcing in 2019. To save you the time, we compiled the top five trends to be aware of in the technology outsourcing space right now.
The latest Emerging Risks Survey from Gartner showed that the global shortage of talent is now the leading risk faced by organizations globally, beating out accelerating privacy regulations and cloud computing, which were the top concerns less than six months prior. Furthermore, according to a new survey of 75 CIOs in Hong Kong, more than nine in ten (92%) leaders find it challenging to source qualified IT professionals, while 88% also find it difficult to attract them to their company. The same study revealed that 25% believe the number one way to alleviate the IT skill shortage they’re facing is by increasing in-house training of existing IT staff, while 24% think the best solution is promoting IT as an attractive career path for Millennials and Generation Z.
While business leaders are seeking out more and more specialized talent, conversely, they’re also looking for ways to automate and eliminate manual labor in their existing processes. A forecast by Forrester predicts that 40% of enterprises will have automation centers and frameworks in place by the end of 2019. But in spite of this increase in automation, the need for specialized talent, particularly in burgeoning industries like blockchain engineering and AI, is steady and growing. There is currently a high level of job security for occupations that involve creativity, social intelligence, and non-routine activities. High-skill jobs like software development – in which just 8% of tasks can be automated with existing technologies – remain the least vulnerable to automation.
Certainly related to the global skill shortage, there has been a recent shift by organizations to begin seeking out highly-specialized talent – particularly in the technology space – and lean more heavily on staffing firms to find it. According to the 2018 Staffing Buyer Study, more than half of companies are planning to increase their use of staffing firms over the next five years, in order to simplify the hiring process and attract hires with special skills. The same study revealed that the top pain point for hiring managers is reaching candidates with the right skill sets (52%); coming well ahead of time to hire (40%) and budget (34%).
Knowing how pervasive blockchain is becoming across all sectors, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the need for blockchain-savvy candidates has skyrocketed – but the numbers are impressive nonetheless. Searches on Indeed for ‘blockchain’ jobs witnessed an increase of 687% in 2018, and according to data from Hired, real-life salaries for blockchain engineers surged to $150,000 and $175,000 on average; well above the average $135,000 salary that a typical software engineer earns. In the realm of outsourcing, other interesting trends have recently emerged as the demand for blockchain talent continues to grow. For example, 37% of jobs at blockchain-related companies are remote-friendly, compared to just around 15% at other companies – indicating that employers are more likely to offer flexible and modern working arrangements in the pursuit of blockchain talent that fits their company’s needs.
Surprisingly, only 15% of enterprises were using Artificial Intelligence in 2018 – but 31% said AI is on the agenda for the next 12 months. As the use cases for AI increase, there’s a reason to employ it in almost every industry, and the most forward-thinking leaders are not only assessing the ways AI can potentially grow their business, but are looking for tech teams with expertise in this field. While only 33% of consumers think they use AI-enabled technology, in fact, 77% of them use an AI-powered service or device. As Artificial Intelligence continues to subtly improve daily life for consumers, more businesses are planning for the future, outsourcing AI-savvy tech talent and teams who are fully equipped to explore its many applications.