Tuesday, January 23, 2007

IT Skills Shortage

The UK government has advised that there will be a massive IT skills shortage in the UK in the coming years. Demand will outstrip supply dramatically meaning that those people who are skilled will be able to command extorniate rates.

Within my world of Identity & Access Control, I can already see that some major blue chip companies are prepared to pay over the odds for their contractors. Of course, the expenditure is worth it if the result is a quality implementation that resolves their identity related issues.

Unfortunately, the reality would seem to be that the quality of the contractors is questionable. That may sound unfair, but all too often, the contractors class themselves as "Designers" or "Architects". The blue chips, however, want people who can not only wax lyrical about their chosen subject matter, but can also bang the relevant buttons on a keyboard in order to get the solution to work.

And therein lies a problem... too many theorists charging extorniate rates.

"Ah, but these guys are all certified, aren't they?" I hear you ask.

Of course they are. No employer would touch them unless they had demonstrated they could pass an exam. But remember, performing vanilla installations of Identity and Access Management tools in accordance with the vendor's documentation is not in the same league as implementing a highly available architecture, tuned for maximum performance, with enterprise robust monitoring, failover and statistical gathering in a locked down fashion with customisations.

I'm quite sure I could hire dozens of people who know how to follow a manual. I'm not so sure I could hire the right kind of people that I require to deliver the solutions that I need.

So what is the UK government doing about it? More importantly, what are the blue chips doing about it and what are the software vendors doing about it? More importantly, if I'm a smart guy, do I want any of these people to do anything about it? After all... I have a mortgage to pay!

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