3 Tips for Outsource-Proofing Your IT Career
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, November 02 6:00
SunTrust is only the most recent high-profile instance of a company sending IT jobs overseas. In fact, cloud technology and the Internet have businesses across the globe rethinking how they handle everything from network security to help desk tickets. With technology workers commanding fairly high salaries, sending work overseas looks like a great idea from a budget standpoint.
From a tech worker standpoint, however, the practice can be a complete career killer. How can someone who commands an $80,000 annual salary in America compete with a cloud provider who will offer the same service for $80 per month per user? As technologists focus on building a strong tech infrastructure for their bosses, those bosses are attending workshops and reading articles about the benefits of outsourcing. It can seem, at times, that there s no way to beat the inevitable. There are, however, a few things an IT professional can do to improve his position in the field.
Become a Specialist
While general jobs may be able to go overseas, there are some jobs that can t be easily replaced. Those jobs are currently in demand and usually relate to a specialty, such as healthcare IT or business intelligence. Data analysts are especially in demand as businesses seek to back every decision they make by facts. By being able to support business operations with your own technology expertise, you ll likely find yourself in a more secure position than if you worked in an area that could be replaced by cloud service providers.
Serve as a Business Analyst
As businesses seek to work with third-party providers for their tech needs, an increasing demand will arise for someone who can act as a liaison between organizations and those outside companies. Whether the person oversees network operations as an administrator or serves in a consultant capacity depends on the organization. Technology workers can position themselves for longevity by focusing on supporting business leaders in advisor roles. The less they re seen as day-to-day support staff and the more they re seen as counselors and leaders, the better.
Join the Party
An old adage says, If you can t beat them, join them. Businesses are outsourcing their storage and hosting to cloud solutions providers, so set your sights on working for a firm that provides these services. If help desk support is moving to local companies who charge by the call and applications development is shifting to outside teams, start your own business or join an existing company offering those services. Technology careers are changing, but that merely means professionals should change the goals they set for themselves to match.
If you work in technology, you probably fear your job will eventually be outsourced. But this only means that more opportunities are opening up for people in your field. In ten years, you ll likely be working for yourself, for a solutions provider, or in an analyst role within a non-technology business. If you can gear your career in that direction early, you ll be prepared to make the change when the opportunity comes along.