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Survey: Expansion plans could be thwarted by talent, IT gaps

There is a new survey published by IT services and research giant Accenture suggesting that even though many high-tech companies and electronics companies are now thinking globally — including, increasingly, some of you folks out there in the channel — AND have the money to execute on those plans, they might not have the right people to help make good on that strategy. Or, for that matter, the right technology.

Here are some of the survey highlights:

  • 53 percent report that developing “human capital” is the most important part of delivering a unique product or service
  • 70 percent believe IT is critical for global expansion, but only 21 percent report that their existing systems are up to the task
  • Just 21 percent believe that their company is well-positioned to expand its worldwide presence

I’m bringing this particular data to your attention for several reasons.

  1. It suggests that as the economy begins to pick up, you may need to watch your back as far as talent goes. You know as well as I do that high-tech vendors will have no problem hiring your best and brightest. After all, you probably got your people certified on their behalf in the first place. So they know what they’re getting. You need to look at ways of protecting your best people proactively.
  2. As talent recruitment intensifies, salaries are bound to go up. You know what that means.
  3. Even though high-tech companies typically are early adopters of technology, even they don’t have the right technology in place to support it. Imagine what shape your own clients are in.

Speaking of which, I spoke with Jeff Freeland, founder and CEO of Astreya Partners, an IT services company in Santa Clara, Calif., about this very issue last week in preparation for some of SearchITChannel’s annual trends and predictions coverage. (Stay tuned!) Freeland says international expansion is a major agenda item for Astreya in 2011 as its own clients explore opportunities beyond their homeland borders. The biggest challenge to this is finding skilled engineers, understanding work culture differences, and getting in touch with labor laws, he says.

Are you up on those issues?

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