Finding the Talent Your Business Needs

How CIOs are meeting the challenge of a small high-tech pool by making the most of the teams they have

Like it or not, we are in the midst of yet another technology talent crisis, and when your CEO is demanding more out of your team, you really need good people. But here's the paradox: The talent pipeline is being squeezed at both ends. Computer science enrollments are down, and an entire generation of experienced technologists is ready to retire.

Recruiting from this limited pool requires money, time and effort. Especially if you are in a midsize company, you'd be better off making the most of the team you have. Here, three CIOs share their successes.

Reed Sheard is CIO of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. While Oprah Winfrey certainly enjoys her home nearby, Sheard finds it difficult to recruit talent to the expensive area.

Refocus your team. When Sheard started at Westmont, his unreliable infrastructure demanded tremendous effort to maintain. By moving services to the cloud, he reclaimed precious hours. Case in point: one person used to spend 30 hours a week managing some 40 handheld devices for campus VIPs. With wireless syncing, the team now spends one hour a week managing more than 1,500 devices.

Grow your own. Westmont's plan to deliver many services on mobile devices requires new skills. Rather than recruit a mobile developer, Sheard selected someone in the public affairs office with the acumen for the job. "This person was not in IT, but I sent him to Big Nerd Ranch for iOS development," he says. "He is now indispensable."

Get your project managers certified. Bill Brown joined Avid as CIO in 2011 and found a team that was having trouble consistently delivering successful projects. So Brown signed his project managers up for Project Management Professional certification and mandated that all IT employees had to take at least one certification course. Project success rate has climbed to 93 percent.

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