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Why short-term IT staffing is essential to digital transformation

Amid all the hoopla about new technologies like the cloud, artificial intelligence, and virtual networking, one salient fact remains: technology is only as good as the people who operate it.

The challenge many organizations face in the emerging digital economy, however, is that technology is creating a situation in which business opportunities, and even business models themselves, are becoming as ephemeral as the data environments on which they are based. This is leading to an upheaval in the workforce as long-term employment gives way to short-term IT staffing.

Constant change

The need to bring in contract work is nothing new, of course. Industries as diverse as manufacturing and retail often use temporary help to get through periods of peak activity.

In today’s world, however, the need for short-term workers is becoming less predictable and subject to a wider set of underlying forces than simple work volume.

As the services-based economy takes hold, organizations are finding it necessary to rely on temporary help on a continual basis to accommodate:

  • Unique technical demands
  • Specialized market experience
  • Regional expertise
  • Other demands.

Benefits of incorporating short-term IT staffing

The benefits of such an approach are many.

Low cost

In most cases, it is less costly to bring on short-term work on a contract basis, eliminating direct responsibility for payroll, benefits and other aspects of employment.

A more targeted, scalable approach to manpower

A permanent hire, after all, brings a set of skills that may lose value as workloads evolve over time. This leaves the enterprise with the untenable choice of retraining the employee, posting them to a position that is ill-suited to their talents or letting them go, usually with severance. A short-term contract, on the other hand, can be renewed or canceled at regular intervals as needed, and can be continually adjusted to provide optimal support for the enterprise’s needs.


At the same time, competitive pressures in the contracting industry make it easier to press for top performance at the lowest possible cost–something that has become increasingly difficult to do with full-time hires in this era of low unemployment.

Challenges to incorporating short-term IT staffing

Needless to say, however, managing multiple short-term IT staffing contracts introduces a new set of challenges to the personnel office.

Not only is it more time-consuming to match the right people for the right jobs, but these employees and their workflows must be integrated into an existing workforce that likely consists both full-time and part-time workers, as well as other contractors, system integrators, partners, and the like.

As well, with short-term workers entering and leaving the workplace at a steady pace, tasks like background checks, security clearances, and resource assignment can become burdensome.

The enterprise of the future requires a flexible staffing model

Confronting this challenge will not be optional in the digital economy, however. As the demand for agile infrastructure and development increases, the enterprise will have to build the same kind of flexibility into its workforce that is currently infiltrating the IT environment.

For many organizations, the quickest way to adapt to this new environment is to outsource their IT staffing processes to a third-party provider.

An experienced partner with requisite expertise in high-tech environments can:

  • Provide fully trained, certified professionals in a wide range of disciplines.
  • Alleviate HR’s burden for a wide range of tasks such as timesheet management, expense reporting and scheduling.
  • Employ a wealth of additional resources to fulfill any contract, including outside consultants, support from professional organizations and technology vendor expertise.

All of this helps to convert today’s static workforce into the agile, team-oriented organization needed to compete in the new economy.

With greater flexibility among personnel, the enterprise has more leeway to align skillsets with particular tasks, particularly those that require specialized training or expertise in cutting-edge technologies.

It’s been said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. With the prospect of significant investment to upgrade infrastructure and transition processes to a digital business model, can today’s enterprise truly afford to maintain a workforce designed for yesterday’s business environment?