Why IT contractors are the engine room of digitalisation

Let’s talk digitalisation.

Author: Daniel Dubbert, IT Contracting Operations Manager, Hays EMEA

Gartner neatly define digitalisation as “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.” And indeed a number of Hays Viewpoint blogs have looked at the subject of digitalisation in these terms. But in my next blog series I want to explain why IT contractors and the wider flexible workforce are quickly becoming the ‘engine room’ of digitalization.

All businesses are impacted by digitalisation

A few months ago I wrote a blog on the different IT contracting opportunities we have in our Hays EMEA business. Looking back, the blog really highlighted how all-encompassing digitalisation really is in the business world, regardless of the sector and location of the company. There were consumer goods companies creating apps to help them launch products in new markets, global manufacturers setting up new BI platforms and a famous business directory creating their own version of Google Maps. No matter the business, most will likely have some form of digitalisation project live at any one point. And to complete these projects they need IT expertise.

Demand for IT specialists is overtaking supply

It’s no secret that we are in the midst of a digital skills deficit as traditional organisations continue to focus on digital transformation projects and native digital companies continue to scale up their operations. Many companies don’t have all the skills they need in-house to complete their digital projects. As I have written before, this creates the ideal environment for successful IT contractors as their skills are in high demand and they will be rewarded accordingly. CIOs must use contractors to survive digital transformation as they help to: plug the skills gap, upskill existing teams, give flexibility, manage resistance to change and drive forward the digital agenda.

You could see this as a negative thing (at least from the employers’ perspective) but contracting means talent isn’t tied to a single organisation and high skilled individuals can share their expertise across the whole market. Everybody can achieve and prosper.

The traditional corporate environment is loosening up

In an effort to attract the best talent, many businesses with a traditionally corporate environment are loosening up and trying to embrace the start-up culture. For example, within the financial services sector, firms have been taking up flexible working practices, offering office perks and getting rid of the corporate cubicles to boost their employees’ welfare and personal development.

But this is not done out of pure altruism. My colleagues Katharina Schäfer and Mandy Bopp are part of our Hays MSP with Deutsche Bank and recruit for their ‘Digital Factory’ – a centre for developing digital banking products that operates as an internal start-up. Although its Frankfurt base has all trappings of a stereotypical Silicon Valley office (open plan set-up, games consoles, beer fridges etc.) the 400+ people working as part of the wider international team are getting on with the very serious business of transforming Deutsche Bank into a technology company that can meet the ever increasing demands of its digital savvy customers.

Deutsche Bank don’t see IT contractors as people they have to put up with to get the job done. They are actively looking to engage passionate individuals with cutting edge technical skills and surely the Digital Factory has in part been launched to help attract them.

In conclusion, IT contractors are set to drive the progress of digitalisation for the foreseeable future. If IT contractors can effectively position themselves in the market there are a huge number of opportunities available to them, which will be a topic of discussion in my future blogs.

Hopefully you found this blog interesting. For more advice and insights about the world of work, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.

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