How Companies Can Overcome the Software Development Shortage

By Damian Scalerandi, SVP, Professional Services at BairesDev

Two years into the pandemic, businesses are entering a new phase of digital transformation beyond the scramble to adapt to the forced remote work environment. This new era brings with it significant opportunities and challenges. The longevity of the pandemic has cemented many temporary measures that now act as new normals. Digital offers are no longer a benefit, they are a necessity. As a result, there is now a huge technology gap for businesses and, more importantly, a lack of talented developers who can fill it. Closing the software development shortage can be a daunting task, but the new reality is here and transformation is once again needed.

Recognize the problem

Business leaders need to proactively communicate with their teams to identify shortages as early and as accurately as possible. This helps prevent problems from getting worse and more difficult to manage. Many companies are already focused on scaling technology offerings in high-demand areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud services. Proactively filling gaps in these areas and areas of anticipated demand in the near future will ensure that scale is as efficient and seamless as possible.

Tackle Areas of Opportunity

When there is an acknowledged talent shortage, it is essential that business leaders work with managers to vet staff and help them prioritize the most important tasks and skills. A proactive approach can also help alleviate shortages by identifying potential hidden talents among existing staff, or the opportunity to develop them. Surveys and one-on-one conversations between managers and staff can help identify areas of potential talent growth. Then, leadership can help existing employees access software engineering training to expand their knowledge and the depth of capabilities they can bring to the business.

That said, due to labor shortages, top tech talent is hard to come by, no matter how specific your appraisal or management systems are. In these cases, business owners can turn to technology outsourcing companies to cover short- and long-term gaps. This type of partnership can also help companies identify pain points within the organization and make recommendations for appropriate technology implementation and digital transformation.

pay ahead

With the digital transformations brought about by the pandemic being here to stay, companies should also take a much longer view to address the software development shortage. Business leaders have the opportunity and the responsibility to encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to enter the field of technology. This is not only the right thing to do, but it can help prevent shortages in the future and drive innovation for the tech industry as a whole.

While simultaneously addressing shortages through a proactive mindset, ongoing training, and bringing in outsourced talent, organizations should also work with nonprofits that help bridge the technology gap and software engineering in the communities. Companies can even host boot camps and events for young people to introduce them to the tech industry and show them what a career in the field might look like. By giving back in this way, businesses will connect with people early on and better position themselves as a leader in the larger business environment.

The dearth of technology and software development can be overcome, but business leaders need the right approach and full knowledge of their suite of options to succeed. If business leaders consider their organizational priorities, recognize and implement the technology solutions they need to succeed, and understand where the scarcity is coming from and paying for it, they greatly improve their chances of harmonious growth.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Gordon K. Morehouse