Changing IT Skills: The Impact of Sourcing Strategies on In-House Capability Requirements

Changing IT Skills: The Impact of Sourcing Strategies on In-House Capability Requirements

Christine V. Bullen (Stevens Institute of Technology, USA), Thomas Abraham (Kean University, USA), Kevin Gallagher (Northern Kentucky University, USA), Kate M. Kaiser (Marquette University, USA) and Judith C. Simon (University of Memphis, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-126-1.ch009


The increasingly global sourcing of IT work and other socio-economic trends are prompting fundamental changes in the availability of IT skills needed in both client and vendor organizations. This article analyzes the results of a survey conducted in 2005, in which IT executives were asked to describe the skills they felt were critical to keep in house now and in 2008. The top ten current skills included three in project management, five in business domain and three in technical. In 2008, the top five emerging skills are almost all business domain while the top five exiting skills are all technical. Our findings indicate that the critical skills to keep in-house are primarily client-facing skills, even when they are technical. Respondents are moving away from traditional IT skills except when their business model continues to value them. However, traditional technical skills are still important for all new hires while project management skills are the most often cited for mid level hires. The projected number of full time employees is expected to remain approximately the same by 2008 but there will be an increase in sourcing to third party providers (3PP) and a shift from domestic to offshore 3PP staff. The patterns in the data indicate that technical skills that are not client facing and can be done anywhere are the most likely to be sourced. Findings indicate that IT professionals need to have a balance that demonstrates a foundation in the traditional “hard skills” and experience with “softer” business-oriented skills.

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