The IT Skills Gap: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Why many businesses are facing a skills gap with their IT professionals and how to acquire an expert team.

Your IT guy does it all, knows it all, and is the master of the IT universe. That's amazing that you were able to hire the one person in the world that can do everything and has nothing better to do than master every single element of IT; congrats!!! If you're picking up on a slight bit of sarcasm here, you’re right.

In truth, no one person can know it all or do it all. If it were possible, then we would never be referred to a medical specialist by our doctor. Your family doc would simply just do your open-heart surgery for you. IT is no different, but why?
 

Types of IT professionals

Variety is the spice of life! IT variety makes it spicey. Expecting your software engineer to configure and manage your firewall is like having your oil change technician repair the transmission on your car. Can they complete the different tasks? Sure they can. But can they do it well? That's the core issue. 93% of employers report an overall skills gap in their IT professionals, and that’s not surprising. Why? Well, there are many different types of IT professionals. Let's take a look at a few.

 
  • Software Engineers

These guys are coders, and they understand languages that most normal people will never get. To software engineers, the computer is a tool that they use every day. When their computer stops working, they are knowledgeable enough to fix it... to a certain point. But don't ask them to spend a lot of time fixing the issue, especially if it is reoccurring.

  • Network Engineers

The network engineer is the construction worker of the physical IT world. They spend most of their time building elaborate network infrastructures that start to take on the identity of massive roadways and interchanges that interconnect with each other. Can these guys fix their computer if it goes down? Sure, they can. But are they more efficient at networks? Absolutely.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Engineers

If the network engineer builds the data highways that interconnect computer networks, the cloud engineers build the airports. These engineers know how to connect systems worldwide and ensure that data is accessible from anyone, anywhere.

  • Cyber-Security Engineers

Cyber-Security engineers are your law enforcement on the data highways and your air marshals in the cloud. They are tasked with ensuring that the bad guys stay out and everyone stays safe.

  • IT Infrastructure Engineers

These IT professionals are the ones who understand how everything fits together from the other IT engineers out there. They know who, where, and how to get IT issues fixed. Most of the time, these are your go-to IT guys when sh!t hits the fan. They can coordinate with the other engineers to fix your problems, and they are also capable of fixing hardware or software issues on your PC. When you call a help desk, this is your first conversation.
 

Why isn't all IT the same?

Didn't we go over this? Alright, I'm going to make it as simple as I can. No one person can know everything (except my wife, which is why I am always wrong). Picking the right professional for the job is the same as choosing the right tool (unless you're trying to nail that nail into the wall with a tape measure, and if that's the case, we need to have a completely different conversation).
 


What about a really, really smart IT guy?

Okay, yes, there are some rare diamonds out there that can write code, build networks, secure networks, and every other IT task that's needed. Even in this case, though, that professional will prefer a specific IT type over another. This means that they might neglect the tasks they do not enjoy as much. More importantly, they will not keep up on training and new developments if they don't care for them as much.

The truth is that even a really, really smart IT guy will still have faults and shortcomings. There will be a skills gap in the newest techniques and developments. Even if they try to understand every single item, they'll never have time to do the work.
 

So what's the solution to this so-called 'IT skills gap'?

The answer is very straightforward. Hire one of each type and call it a day. Sure, it might be expensive, and you might be a small business that will spend all your profits on employing one of each type of IT engineer to ensure that you have no technology gaps, but isn't that just the cost of doing business?

Ok, you can stop cursing at the screen now because we also agree that this solution is a terrible idea. It's too bad there's not some kind of service out there that would aggregate all of these engineering talents together and offer them to businesses...
 

Isn't that what Bit-Wizards does?

Ok, you got me. Yes! Bit-Wizards employs multiple engineers with varying backgrounds and specialties to cover each IT field. Our wizards are subject matter experts that utilize each other's skills to deliver a fully managed IT solution to our clients. This approach gives our engineers the focus to be experts in a specific IT function, allowing them to stay up to date on technology and training in their particular field.
 

That sounds expensive...

Expensive is relative to your situation, but I can tell you that it's a fraction of the cost of hiring all of those engineers separately. It’s also much less costly than recovering from an IT situation that puts your business at risk. And if you’re sitting there thinking, “well, my business isn’t at risk,” think again. 61% of all small businesses reported at least one cyber-attack last year (2020), and 43% of all data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses.

And what are the costs of these attacks? A benchmark study by CISCO found that 40% of small businesses faced at least 8 hours of downtime after a severe cyber-attack, and this downtime accounts for a major portion of the overall cost of a security breach.


Ok, so, the point here is, when you hire an entire staff of certified IT professionals without the impossible costs that come with hiring, training, equipping, and maintaining a large IT department, your company saves time, headaches, and money.

Hiring Bit-Wizards provides your business with the expertise to cover every critical function of your IT infrastructure and allows you to focus on your business. With Bit-Wizards Managed IT Services, you take care of your business, and we take care of IT.

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Author

Jason Monroe, Associate Director, Solution Development
Jason M. Monroe

Director of Solution Consulting

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