The German “Spiegel” reports today about a recent study of the “Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW)” that in April 314.000 jobs in MINT (mathematics, informatics, natural since and technics) could not been filled in Germany. This is a dramatic increase in the numbers the German Government was stating only last year. Especially dramatic is the situation in IT jobs.
Reason for that is also the slower adaption of mid-market companies to source IT services from outside of Germany. Slow was and still is the reaction of the German government and ministries, who promote on one side large initiatives to support digitisation, but continuously fail to implement effective initiates agains the shortage of adequately educated people in related professions.
Similar problems in nearshore destinations
For those who think the doors to sourcing IT talent and knowledge from nearshore destinations, like Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and others are open for ever may learn the opposite. Not only since yesterday we receive reports about growing shortage of IT talent in those countries as well. Large IT companies in Hungary, like IT-Service Hungary, that belongs to T-Systems has a recruitment time of 4-6 months for certain IT jobs. Same in Poland, where Polish companies hire actively IT talent form the neighbouring country Ukraine.
This means for German decision makers to rather act now and build reliable partnerships with IT-specialist companies in CEE, instead of keep dreaming of in-house only IT operations. This is simply impossible today.
Decrease in knowledge
Another aspect that many people forget to discuss, is that those countries in CEE have invested immensely in building export orientated IT industries and are on the way to run out Germany in terms of knowledge in new technologies.
However bad the conditions in Germany are, the good news is, that IT-comapnies in the CEE countries have shown a rapid growth and demonstrate today mature business models and a high level of readiness to deliver high quality and reliable services and solutions for foreign markets.
Keeping in mind here, that it still needs adequate in-house management for co-operations with external technology and business process partners.
Will we all be saved by automation?
NO! At least not today and also not tomorrow. Automation requires even more specialised IT talent, even in combination with process knowledge. Judging only by the weekly calls we receive from recruitment agencies, those people don’t exist on the free labour market.
What can I do if I have no or very little experiences with external technology and process partners?
Today its relatively easy to source IT talent and knowledge, especially for CEE countries. However, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Know what you need. The better you can communicate which areas you need external resources for, the easier is the communication with potential partners. You may need to spend some time and allocate resources for an internal assessment, but don’t go without it.
- Know how to manage. Getting an external partner on board is one thing, but this has to be managed, constantly. Provider management.
- You are not alone. We as independent German Outsourcing Association provide a number of services to make it easier for companies in Germany to find suitable partners. Ask us. This is in most cases even free of charge.
- Get a consultant. I know this is in some circles not so popular, but the specialised sourcing consultants can help to avoid common traps. Bad news here: ALL! sourcing consultants in Germany are very busy.
- Get out of your office. Visit specifically foreign and international conferences to get a feeling for the different markest and mentalities. Here is a tip: German-Polish Outsourcing Forum, May 24th in Szczecin (1:50 h drive from Berlin)