How Integrated Solution Partners Can Mitigate the Challenges of IT Staffing Shortages

By Special Guest
Dominick Passanante, Vice President of Mobility at Panasonic Connect
November 17, 2023

Seventy-seven percent of employers worldwide have open jobs they can’t fill, a 17-year-high for talent shortages. The IT sector is acutely aware of this challenge. With IT jobs expected to grow 15% by 2031, the industry needs around 400,000 new IT workers a year.

Adding to the challenge, most organizations (93%) have adopted or have plans to adopt a digital-first business strategy. Even industries not often recognized as tech-forward — like the public sector, utilities, and federal government — are deploying new technologies at a rapid pace. This puts even more pressure on IT teams to deliver robust, reliable, and cost-efficient IT ecosystems to meet enterprise needs.

While business leaders and human resources plan to bring in new talent, how can current IT teams keep up with demand? The answer is integration. Instead of piecing together one-off solutions, IT teams can deploy hardware, software, and services from a single partner. This benefits the organization’s people, encourages technological innovation, and bolsters sustainability efforts for long-term IT success.

Support your people

According to Gartner (News - Alert), nearly 70% of organizations are planning to spend more on tech in 2023 to drive operational efficiency. But with limited talent, many IT teams don’t have the resources to support these new technologies.

The first hurdle is deployment, which includes shipping hardware to the correct sites, unloading new devices, installing software, and issuing to the end user. If an organization lacks IT staff, this could mean longer deployment windows or pulling in extra staff to fill gaps. For example, if a police force is upgrading its fleet of laptops but doesn’t have adequate IT resources, it may have to pull officers away from other essential duties to help with unboxing or distributing new devices. This may boost IT deployment, but it isn’t a sustainable solution.

And the job isn’t done after deployment. IT must also maintain and service devices and software as issues arise, and updates are available. B2M Solutions reports that each device or software problem can take an average of 30 minutes to resolve. That adds up — from an IT perspective and from an employee productivity perspective. Let’s say you’re a utility company. If you have 100 technicians, that’s roughly 50 hours of work for your IT team to fix one issue on each device and 50 hours of delayed or missed service requests for utility workers.

This is where integrated solution partners come into play. While they offer the best combination of hardware and software to meet a unique need, integrated partners go beyond the sale. These partners can offer staff augmentation to supplement teams as the need arises (like deploying a new suite of devices). This helps full-time IT staff focus on the larger IT ecosystem while specialists meet a limited need.

Dominick Passanante,
Vice President of Mobility,
Panasonic (News - Alert) Connect

Develop your technology ecosystem

Technology is evolving and pushing IT teams to not only deploy and maintain solutions today but also plan for future innovation. Take AI, for example: 88% of businesses across industries are using some form of AI, and more than half expect to invest more in AI-driven initiatives in the next 12 months. And AI is one of the many technologies swarming the market. According to Gartner analyst Bart Willemsen, “IT leaders are in a unique position to strategically lay down a roadmap” to help businesses continue technological success even during uncertain times and staffing pressures. To do this, experts recommend allocating 5%-10% of IT professionals’ time to looking up and out into the market. But how can IT leaders think about a technology roadmap when they are hard-pressed to meet today’s technological challenges?

Imagine you run a construction company. You have a solution suite that meets your current needs, but you want to explore what other options are available. However, budgets are tight, and the amount of time and capital it would take to deploy a new ecosystem doesn’t seem workable. Even if it would help your crew complete jobs faster. An integrated solution can bring together different hardware and software solutions you may not have even known to look for. Some partners even offer “as a Service” models that let businesses use OPEX (News - Alert) funds instead of posting a CAPEX debit against the bottom line. With the IT burden off your shoulders, you have the freedom to look beyond the day-to-day to the future technological ecosystem of your organization.

Protect the planet and future-proof IT systems

One essential area every IT leader should consider is corporate sustainability. With worldwide ESG mandates coming down the pipeline, many companies face increased pressures to adopt sustainable practices. The IT sector has the potential to directly and indirectly reduce global carbon emissions by 15% and 35% respectively by 2030.

The first thing IT teams can do is help keep devices in rotation longer. But with limited staff, it’s a challenge for IT teams to track the health of every device. Many integrated solution partners offer monitoring software that alerts IT teams of device issues. So, instead of replacing a battery or laptop, IT teams can catch an issue early and upgrade certain software or change usage settings to help a battery last longer. Or, they could order a new battery and reduce downtime.

Another key to IT sustainability is the proper disposal of e-waste. Between managing current infrastructure, preparing new deployments, and planning for future innovation, IT teams are stretched thin and may need support to sustainably dispose of old devices. Many integrated solution providers offer specific e-waste services to take the burden of sustainable disposal off the IT team. This ensures organizations meet sustainability goals while maximizing IT efficiency.

The IT team is the backbone of your business’ technological innovation, but they can’t do it alone. With the support of integrated solution partners, these essential teams can help enterprises across sectors improve productivity, reduce operational costs, and follow sustainability requirements. This sets them up for success today and future-proofs their organization for the technology to come.

Dominick Passanante is the vice president of the mobility business division at Panasonic Connect North America. Panasonic Connect is a B2B company offering device hardware, software, and professional services for the connected enterprise. Dominick sets strategic goals for developing and implementing Panasonic’s TOUGHBOOK line of mobility products, services, and solutions to help organizations streamline workflows and operate more efficiently. He has launched successful initiatives, from developing a holistic solutions model to creating an inside sales team to enhance the customer experience and ultimately boost retention. He is passionate about prioritizing customer needs and finding ways to solve their unique challenges. Dominick is committed to creating a positive work environment that promotes diversity, encourages empowerment, and rewards innovative approaches. He holds a position on the Executive Board of the IT Alliance for Public Sector and is a Massachusetts Law Enforcement Association member. Additionally, CRN has recognized Dominick as a Top Channel Chief for implementing innovative reseller programs and won Panasonic Connect’s internal award for strong performance in profit and innovation. 

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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