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Gartner's people3 Says Organizations Must Implement a Workforce Planning Process to Address Looming IT Workforce Shortage
[February 08, 2005]

Gartner's people3 Says Organizations Must Implement a Workforce Planning Process to Address Looming IT Workforce Shortage

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. --(Business Wire)-- Feb. 8, 2005 -- Despite Current Job Market Conditions, Consultants Say Companies Must Prepare a Long-Term Strategy on Workforce Issues

While companies currently have an abundance of skilled IT workers to choose from, these companies must implement a workforce planning process to be prepared for an upcoming workforce shortage, according to people3, a Gartner, Inc. company.

"With future job growth being concentrated in highly skilled and knowledge-based work, and estimates of 21 million new jobs with only 17 million new entrants to the workforce by 2012, organizations will lose their status quo if they aren't prepared with a workforce strategy," said Diane Berry, managing vice president at people3.

In the people3 report "The Incredible Shrinking Workforce: Addressing Tomorrow's Issues Today," people3 consultants explained that workforce planning is aimed at translating business/IT objectives into the current and future human capital needs required to achieve them.

"Workforce planning prepares organizations for times of certainty and uncertainty by being proactive, not just responsive, to changes in business and IT directions, resulting in informed workforce decisions that benefit the organization and its employees for the short and long term," Ms. Berry said.

A workforce planning process typically includes four key steps:

-- Set a strategic direction -- An IT organization's strategic vision, mission and objectives ultimately determine current and future human capital requirements.

-- Conduct a workforce analysis -- Create a supply and demand analysis, as well as a gap analysis. The gap analysis identifies any discrepancy between supply and demand, and helps IT leaders pinpoint the skills and competencies that are at risk (shortage) or surplus, and proactively address each situation as appropriate through a capital management framework (recruitment, reward and development).

-- Develop and implement a workforce plan -- This plan should include elements of recruiting, succession planning, training and development, and other related HR programs.

-- Monitor, evaluate and revise the strategy and plan -- At the very least, a strategic workforce plan should cover a three-year time frame. In the case of addressing aging workforce issues, organizations will need to have an outlook plan and plan for a longer time frame (10 years or beyond) depending on the existing demographic profiles of the workforce.

"Workforce planning helps IT leaders avoid making the same overstaffing mistakes they made during the technology boom era which consequently caused the layoffs and downsizing during the recent economic downturn," Ms. Berry said. "On the other hand, it also prevents the pitfalls of understaffing that eventually lead to employee burnout, low morale and low productivity."

For information on purchasing the people3 Quarterly Trending Report "The Incredible Shrinking Workforce: Addressing Tomorrow's Issues Today," please visit

About people3

people3, Gartner's Human Capital Management Practice, works with organizations to maximize the effectiveness of their most important asset, people, in support of the goals of the company. Our expertise lies in HR and IT. We do it by providing applied research, best practices and advice to help bring your people and your technologies together to achieve new levels of success. Our combination of executive programs, action-based workshops, research, and software solutions from a powerful, integrated resource for optimizing the performance of your IT organization. people3, a Gartner company, is headquartered in Bridgewater, N.J. For more information on people3, visit

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) is the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry. Gartner serves more than 10,000 clients, including chief information officers and other senior IT executives in corporations and government agencies, as well as technology companies and the investment community. The Company focuses on delivering objective, in-depth analysis and actionable advice to enable clients to make more informed business and technology decisions. The Company's businesses consist of Research and Events for IT professionals; Gartner Executive Programs, membership programs and peer networking services; and Gartner Consulting, customized engagements with a specific emphasis on outsourcing and IT management. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has more than 3,500 associates, including approximately 1,000 research analysts and consultants, in more than 75 locations worldwide. For more information, visit

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