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Professional Services Are a Safe Bet to Address Staff Shortages

Many organizations today are tightening their belts. They have smaller budgets and fewer resources even though they face an ever-growing list of projects, tasks and corporate IT initiatives to complete. IT departments are hard pressed to streamline operations but don’t necessarily have the manpower—be it resources or specific skillsets—to add capabilities that will achieve such efficiency.

There are only a few possible solutions organizations can consider to address this common problem: (a) hire additional headcount, which is permanent and costly; (b) sacrifice IT initiatives, which is often detrimental to the business and lowers its competitive advantage; or (c) bring in temporary help.

When there’s too much work to go around, contractors, consulting firms and Professional Service Organizations (PSOs) can help without a significant budget hit. Below we’ve outlined a few reasons why PSOs are the best choice for organizations suffering staff shortages.

You save time, money and energy bypassing the typical recruitment process. The time it takes to recruit talented individuals—from parsing through resumes to conducting interviews—can be exhaustive. A PSO allows you to skip over the hoopla of hiring full time staff—not to mention high cost of recruiter fees. Although hiring a PSO is typically more expensive when compared to the dollar per hour employee, it is less expensive than a fulltime employee that requires salary plus benefits and all the recruiting and new-hire onboarding costs.

You receive top-notch work with less risk than hiring full time staff. Hiring a PSO means you don’t have to worry about whether or not personnel will suffice as a long-term fit. If an individual isn’t a good fit, a good PSO will replace that individual with no hassle. By the same token organizations can leverage the expertise of individuals throughout the project duration, but once the project is completed, the individual has no ties to the company legally or contractually. This makes an individual’s departure much easier.

You become half of a match made in heaven. A PSO is not just a “body shop” where they attach a body to a customer to bill hours. Rather, a good PSO matches skills with needs, leveraging multiple resources when necessary to ensure the right skills are in place.

A target team enriches your set of capabilities. Because PSOs provide staff with a specific expertise, the work is finished quickly with limited downtime and a greater success rate than if the project was completed by someone who hasn’t “been there, done that.” This equates to fewer failures and outages, an IT program that is built properly to specifications and ultimately, a job that is done right. Moreover, PSOs are often incented to finish early but not at the expense of customer satisfaction.

The PSO mission is always customer satisfaction. Fulltime employees can sometimes feel a sense of entitlement (more pay, better benefits, fewer hours, etc.), whereas the main goal of a PSO is to make the customer happy. After all, a PSO with qualified, expert consultants and engineers has to earn the right to future business.

So next time you’re thinking about those IT projects piling up with no feasible way to complete them, consider a PSO that looks out for your interests, assigns resources based on specific needs, and, most importantly, looks out for you and your best interests. A good PSO will go beyond filling cubicle space to help you achieve your critical business and IT goals… they will do everything in their power to make you, the customer, look good.

By James Willett, VP of Product Management and Professional Services at Neustar

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