IT Security Dec 3, 2020

A shortage of experts – Are managed services the solution?

If you’ve been following the IT labour market for the past years, you will have noticed that Germany is lacking experts in the IT sector. Well-trained and experienced specialists in network and security. and databases and cloud technology are extremely rare. Plenty of CIOs are desperate to find the right IT professionals to strengthen their IT organisation and spearhead their digitalisation projects. But what do you do if there are none? This blog will address this issue while providing ideas and measures to solve it.

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Hans-Jürgen Martini
Team Leader Network & Security Engineers – CC-BISS

IT organisation – A company’s driving force.

CIOs are having a hard time finding qualified employees. The huge lack of experts, especially in the IT sector, is shocking, and because the IT organisation is so essential for driving the digitalisation process, a lack of IT experts can really inhibit a company’s growth.

The advance of digitalisation and an abundance of cloud solutions are pushing IT security more and more into the limelight, making it more important than ever before to implement all-embracing IT security measures. Companies need the right experts to establish and run security architectures in their network and the cloud.

Key positions.

A lot of companies are not capable of finding the right people for key IT positions. One way of counteracting this is to train the existing workforce and onboard new employees. However, quite often, by the time employees have been trained, the company’s requirements have changed and they are back to square one in terms of shortages and missing expertise.

So what should a company do if the measures are not working and their IT organisation is steering towards an overload?

Assessing your IT’s readiness.

A lot of CIOs are incapable of assessing their own company’s strengths and weaknesses and addressing their company’s IT readiness. Assessing a company’s IT organisation can uncover their Real Net Output Ratio and all the structures and IT processes influencing this.

The goal here is to find the right solution to combat the weaknesses and knowledge gaps brought to light by this assessment and hence enable the IT organisation to drive digital transformation more purposefully and with new strength. Another positive side effect is that the knowledge learnt can be used to address technological rather than solely organisational questions.

We have described such a technological assessment, similar to a GAP analysis, in our blog post from 16/11/2020: The IT security GAP analysis – Blessing or curse?

Managed services can plug the gaps.

Rapidly changing markets and increasing competition are forcing companies to optimise their business processes, making it essential for their IT strategy to align with their business goals. A specialised partner can provide managed services to suit your needs and help you to reach your goals.

Managed services, provided by an external partner, will take a load off your IT by handling monitoring and operation of IT security and the network infrastructure and giving you the leeway to tackle strategic tasks. The IT organisation can then focus on the core issues and take on the role of a business enabler to help your company sprint ahead of the competition.

Based on the Service Level Agreement defined, your managed services partner will assume responsibility over the operation of a sub-area or the entire IT infrastructure, without stripping you of any control or access rights. You will also gain access to security and network experts in accordance with the Service Level Agreement defined, providing you with an indispensable source of knowledge.

Boost your efficiency and effectivity.

Efficiency and effectivity are often used synonymously, even though they have different meanings: Effectivity means doing the right things. Efficiency means doing things right.

Effectivity is all about doing things that bring your company closer to achieving its goals. “Working effectively” means only taking measures that will bring your company forward.

Let’s say that an SME wants the security operation of its IT landscape to be uncomplicated and effective Would it make sense for them to start a new department with a three shift system and their own 24/7 NOC/SOC? Probably not. So the challenge here is to find out what measures can really help a company move forward.

The following questions may help:

  • Does this measure bring us closer to our goal?
  • Are we doing things that help us move forward?

Efficiency is all about optimising your own behaviour in such a way that you can reach your desired goal as fast and with as little effort as possible.

The danger of being led astray here is even bigger. Remember the last time you spent hours researching a topic on the internet, even though calling up a colleague would have been much faster and more rewarding? This is the definition of lacking efficiency.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are we on the path of least resistance?
  • Are we doing things right?

Try and see things as a sequence of actions:

  • What does my company have to do to reach a set goal? (Or: How can we work effectively?)
  • How can we reach our goal in the most optimal way? (Or: How can we work efficiently?)

Experts for specially-defined tasks.

Many SMEs are not able to plug the gaps that missing experts are leaving, neither are they capable of mastering technical challenges on their own. What they really need is a reliable partner that can take on these challenges and the operation of their IT, either fully or partially.

This is what our team of experts at the BISS Competence Centre (Bechtle Internet Security and Services) has been doing for many years, providing our customers with 24/7 service, and helping them to strengthen their market position and meet digitalisation requirements by providing the necessary framework.

Contact our network and security experts and learn all about on “IT Organisational Readiness” or “Managed Network and Security Services” in detail.