Is there a way to solve the software engineer talent shortage?
The world has been undergoing a digital transformation. Any business in any industry — be it a professional wrestling organization or a chemical manufacturing company — is now expected to have a digital presence. A website, a mobile app on two platforms, and enterprise software are the bare minimum.
Then, add on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, when remote work compelled businesses to digitize their processes practically overnight. Not only did employees begin working remotely, but a lot of IT infrastructure had to be shifted to the cloud. Instead of relying on human labor, artificial intelligence was called upon to help automate and optimize business operations. The majority of all tech operations in a given organization are software supported, and this leads to a lack of skilled IT experts to solve challenges.
Companies have job openings staying unfilled for months — there simply are not enough developers looking for jobs.
In this digital economy, almost every company has to act now like a tech company, which means they all need software engineers. So it should come as no surprise that demand for IT jobs is growing. US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that software developers’ employment will grow 22 percent by 2029, compared with 3.7 percent for all occupations.
But companies can’t find talent to fill all of these IT positions. There are just not enough qualified and affordable software engineers available to fill the hundreds of thousands of tech jobs openings.
In 2021, there was a global shortage of 40 million skilled workers, and by 2030, this is estimated to grow to a shortage of a whopping 85.2 million. This results in a risk of losing trillions of dollars in revenue, around the world.
How can organizations overcome this shortage? There are several possible solutions:
Traditionally, this has been a popular option, because outsourcing’s primary benefit is access to a skilled workforce in a country with a lower cost base. However, the global pandemic has disrupted this model. In order to save money, many businesses let go of their international IT teams. The economic uncertainty and disrupted supply chains instilled caution. Now, outsourcing is becoming a question of risk management: is it safer and more cost-efficient in the long run to depend on an overseas services provider, or automate those services using AI?
2. Invite Foreign Talent
Tech companies have come to rely on closing the gap by hiring skilled IT specialists abroad and bringing them to the US on H-1B visas. Tens of thousands of foreign software engineers have helped companies to fill positions for which they couldn’t find domestic workers. But the program’s future is currently uncertain. The previous US administration banned issuing new visas, while President Joe Biden has returned the U.S. to the visa levels previously established.
3. Upskill Existing Talent
Some companies decide to train their existing employees. For example, they send junior developers to professional development courses to gain the needed knowledge and a promotion. Others find non-traditional hires and train them internally on the job. Or some take advantage of teaming up with coding bootcamps that promise to turn any non-coder into a competent IT employee. The drawback with this workaround is the cost and the timeframe: All of these training options require at least weeks — more often, months.
4. Adopt Low Code or No-Code
It’s now clear that organizations that embrace low code see faster paths to digital transformation. This is because low code empowers citizen developers (business users) to spin up solutions quickly, as well as solve problems they are closest to. Not having to involve scant developer resources to keep projects moving, enables companies to focus on and invest in employee, customer, and partner experiences — as well as respond to ever-changing market conditions. Employees are the engine that drives many organizations, and if they can be enabled to work faster, not harder, then organizations have a better chance of winning the race.
Here’s an example. A professional entertainment organization wanted to help its referees be more productive while doing their routine daily work, like checking schedules, ordering supplies, or watching video replays. The entertainment company holds more than 450 live global events annually, and decided to choose a plug-and-play solution rather than competing in the job market for dozens of programmers and developers to build apps from scratch.
The organization chose HCL Volt MX as its low-code development platform. Now, referees have several applications to help them, while the company is able to quickly build cutting edge multiexperience apps, that run on any device, with a bare-bones IT team. The low-code platform automates many complicated tasks — like DevOps, back-end integrations, and security — and drastically reduces time to market.
And a chemical manufacturing company? It signed up for HCL Volt MX as well. Facing revenue loss from delayed shipments and sluggish procurement approvals, the company was looking for a multichannel digital application to streamline its sales and delivery process.
Using the low-code platform, the company built an open-to-buy (OTB) application, which was an inventory management system. It’s inhouse IT team isn’t overwhelmed with maintaining and updating it because the low-code platform helps will all of those tasks. The app has overachieved its business objective by streamlining the approval process on multiple channels, and the business is booming.
Business demand for IT is soaring and companies are struggling to afford and find top talent. But there are options to work around the problem, and low-code or no-code development platforms offer perhaps the most cost-effective and time-saving way to do it.
If you want to find out more about our industry-leading low-code platform, Volt MX, schedule a demo now.