Innovative CIOs deploy hybrid teams to leverage internal talent with external cost-savings

If you launch your next project without doing a cost-benefit analysis on deploying a hybrid team, you might be leaving money on the table – both in terms of straight cost savings, and lost time.

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It’s no secret that tech initiatives involve a huge cost on the corporate balance sheet. The promise of streamlined communications, personalized customer interfaces and sophisticated BI to predict the future requires significant up-front investments in human talent, hardware and software.

International Data Corporation estimates that $2.7 trillion will be spent globally on corporate IT products in 2020 – that’s more than a 12% increase from 2016 levels. This number doesn’t account for the human talent required to dovetail these products with existing technology – or the deluge of internal and external support tickets that need to be addressed during any transition.

CIOs can use this formula to decide on whether they should outsource a project, handle it internally – or both.

The last decade has seen an increasingly feverish shift to “the Cloud”. The next decade will involve the same sort of swing to AI. The platforms that are now securely accessible from anywhere will soon be thinking for themselves.

This continuing technical transformation will be very expensive. I had an opportunity to meet with Kaushik Bhaumik, CTO at Field Engineer, to discuss how his team leverages internal and external technical talent in their mission to help companies and outside tech contractors engage each other on projects.

He shared that Field Engineer uses three key metrics to decide how technical transformation happens on their campus:

  1. Does their internal team have the human bandwidth required to complete a new initiative, without dropping the ball on existing goals?
  2. Can an outside specialist be quickly integrated with their internal management structure to speed-up execution?
  3. Is there a quantifiable benefit to finishing the project earlier, instead of waiting on internal resources to free-up?

The FE Platform has created a proven platform for companies to access a pool of experienced, on-demand engineers from around the world. And Bhaumik shared that they road-tested their platform at every stage by utilizing the contract workforce themselves – their version of eating their own dog food.

They’ve found that having an external team handle the execution of a corporate IT project, under the direct supervision of an internal manager and one in-house specialist, yields the best results.

Outsourcing the project in a controlled way allows for maximum efficiency. And in order to control an outsourced project, you need two people from your internal team to monitor progress and ensure appropriate resources are being engaged. The manager can ensure that the entire project is meeting its objectives, while the specialist works alongside the outsourced teams to provide industry knowledge and expertise that’s specific to the corporation.

Hybrid workforces work because of the benefit of institutional knowledge alongside cost-effective talent.

After more than 5,000 completed work orders on the FE platform, Bhaumik has come to respect the fact that the tech space is aggressively becoming a hybrid work environment. Every major tech firm is utilizing outsourced technology (SaaS, etc.) and on-demand talent to speed up innovation, while leveraging internal experience to help shape and focus their efforts.

The reasons are obvious:

  • The freelance and contract economy allows companies to have an on-demand, global footprint.
  • Contractors learn new skills and techniques from every job they complete, for a variety of clients with different demands and expectations. This creates a well-honed workforce with the experience required to jump in and carry projects across the finish line.
  • Contract labor doesn’t require an investment annual benefits. When companies aren’t utilizing talent, they move off the balance sheets.
  • Increasingly, large firms use short-term contracts to test out potential new employees. A contract to hire relationship allows for everyone to see how well they work together in a way that minimizes risk.

Sophisticated CIOs aren’t just kicking the tires, they’re engaging outside talent and vendors to complete projects in the most cost-effective way possible. Based on my personal experience as a consultant in this space, I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon.

And industry juggernauts, like Deloitte, agree with me – they see a steady year-over-year increase in the size of the contingent workforce labor market.

If you launch your next project without doing a cost-benefit analysis on deploying a hybrid team, you might be leaving money on the table – both in terms of straight cost savings, and lost time.

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