Critical Factors Fueling the IT Staffing Shortage

Emily Shine
February 8, 2022

The IT staffing shortage is not a new problem. However, the demand for skilled software developers and other techies has been more noticeable since the unprecedented wave of tech adoption fueled by the pandemic in 2020.

So why is there a shortage of tech workers? What are the main factors igniting the current demand for IT skills?

Pandemic and New Business Formation

The pandemic took many unfortunate lives and put economies around the world into a nosedive. However, it also contributed to a growth of 24% in the number of startups in the US.

New business formation was primarily attributed to industries and companies who could adapt to remote working as well as provide products and service online to customers. This created an immense demand for the tech talent and an IT staffing shortage, leading to salary bumps for software developers across all sectors of industry.

Backed by various kinds of investments, these new digitally-enabled businesses could not only afford these high salaries, but welcome them, in order to attract skilled tech talent in high demand.

The Great Resignation in 2022

Tech talent with vital soft and hard technical skills can find other positions in a heartbeat today. This has created a candidate’s market and an uptick of voluntary departures.

In November 2021, 4.5 million U.S. workers quit their job – an all-time high. The record-breaking number of professionals jumping ship continues a historic, monthslong streak of turnover known as the Great Resignation or “the Great Upgrade.”

The stomach-turning rate of attrition shows no sign of slowing either, especially for IT talent. An online survey of more than 2,400 professionals found that 47% of technology workers plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2022.

Mission-critical demand for tech talent

Today, there are a mix of accelerants exacerbating the situation—from rapidly accelerating transformation and the widening digital divide between organizational haves from the have-nots, to the reduced importance of physical location and rise of distributed teams.

At the center of all this is IT and the brains behind it. After all, you can’t deliver a great technology experience or tackle digital transformation initiatives without tech-savvy people on your staff.

Think of IT like a three-legged stool in which people, processes, and technology are the three supporting legs. Without the right people in place, your IT department and operations would crumble. Any loss of talent has a considerable impact on the growth plans of every business.

Techies – along with business transformation leaders – are an integral part of the core strategy of the enterprise today. You need an agile, digitally-enable team that can harness the power of automation and digitization to drive performance, strategic value, and innovative projects through continuous process improvement.

For example, IT folks play a critical role in adopting a modern technology stack, supporting a remote/distributed workforce, and delivering the consistent, hyper-personalized experiences that people expect today across multiple channels at speed.

With the right people dedicated to your cause, technology can be weaponized to keep costs to a minimum while removing friction and workflow inefficiencies.

Are you short on IT workers? Check out the latest strategies to attract and retain talent in your association in our latest guide.