Big resignation: what are the implications for the IT sector?

For months, the “Great Resignation” theme has featured in the media along with major social issues such as the energy crisis or inflation. This phenomenon really started in the United States and is now spreading all over the world.

Layoffs have stabilized at nearly 520,000 per quarter, including about 470,000 on indefinite contracts, according to research released earlier in the year by DARES, which depends on the Labor Department. Indeed, this figure is the highest in France since the financial crisis of 2008, and if this situation is known, DARES reminds that the high level of layoffs must be put into perspective.

The Great Resignation will affect all industries, and the IT sector is no exception. So far, most discussions have focused on how companies can keep employees engaged and satisfied, including how to attract and retain talent. However, the Great Retirement also has major operational implications that IT professionals cannot afford to ignore.

The need to rethink hiring

Due to self-isolation, IT teams have faced many changes, including the transition to remote work. This “new” work model has been around for two years and has changed how and where companies recruit.

In Silicon Valley, organizations once fought bitter battles to attract scarce talent. But self-isolation has changed the rules of the game: the field of employment has now expanded to almost any place where there is an Internet connection. Large companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple are pushing the geographic boundaries of their “technology hubs” and are now vying for talent around the world.

This will lead to two phenomena: first, there will be a turnover of well-established employees, and then companies will have to turn to other talent pools to compensate for their losses. This means they will have to plan for dropouts in advance, but also be able to quickly integrate less experienced profiles without sacrificing the core services they are responsible for.

Technical leaders as “the only source of truth”

The term “single source of truth” is sometimes used in data center management systems. In terms of tools, this is a centralized record system responsible for the configuration and other system data necessary for the operation of data centers. But given the reliance on manual operations and the memorization of key commands, what if the only source of truth is not such a tool?

In many companies, the only source of truth is really the architect or operations manager. These employees often have been with the company for over a decade and typically know everything there is to know about its IT infrastructure. When a problem arises, other employees can start solving it, but the culmination of the process is always an email to that CTO.

The skills that make them almost indispensable make them extremely vulnerable. And if there are servers, storage systems, and even backup data centers, how many companies actually have dedicated technical specialists? While failure scenarios can be terrible, they can also be long-term.

IT procedures need to be upgraded

Mature operations based on institutional knowledge platforms are an important way to modernize infrastructure and prepare contingency plans. Therefore, companies should explore the available IT tools, especially in search of management platforms that provide a single source of trusted information and provide a certain degree of reliability.

More importantly, IT infrastructure should not be reduced to the “set it and forget it” mantra, but rather applicable to areas where one change per decade might be enough. Therefore, management systems must be strictly focused on the “Day 2” approach so that the repair does not seem irreversible.

The technical reasons for looking for these elements should be clear, as a work environment needs to be created in which time is dedicated to the core issues. So what else could the IT team do if they had the time? How would she welcome auto-resolution tools?

Also, to what extent would hiring efforts be more relevant if the work environment were less shaped by aging and manual tasks; and much more in the category of innovative technologies available in the cloud? The renaissance of IT operations isn’t just about speeding up timelines, and the benefits of cloud operations will certainly go beyond the KPIs shown on CISO dashboards.

The changes in employee attitudes and preferences go deeper than the pandemic, and it is now clear that a “return to normal life” is no longer possible. An example with the systems teams use to streamline hybrid work and improve the productivity of new hires that will continue to change the way IT teams work in the long term. This is a truly effective and innovative way to retain talent today and after the famous Great Retirement.

Mike Bushong, VP Cloud Data Center, Juniper Networks

Expert opinions are published under the full responsibility of their authors and in no way involve the editors.

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