Top 3 IT outsourcing trends to watch in 2018

According to a new report, 31% of IT services were outsourced last year. SenecaGlobal CEO Ed Szofer explains why enterprise companies fill essential business functions by outsourcing.

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As phishing and malware attacks become more prevalent and sophisticated, midsize and large businesses must rely on employees to protect their data. But employees are busy. And security to them is often an afterthought.

While conducting security awareness training might not seem worth the effort, a well-designed program can generate tremendous benefits.

Harnessing behavioral science, such programs use unconventional methods. Training posters may wind up in bathroom stalls, and tests may include baiting employees with phony phishing emails.

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Paul Watson believes that a collaboration framework, feedback loop, and UX design are key to building a successful digital workplace collaboration experience.

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Ed Szofer, CEO of SenecaGlobal, a Chicago-based technology services company that provides onshore and offshore IT support, says the ban has made U.S. IT workers more marketable, but workers still "need to be the complete package." Having "good technical skills ... is often not enough in today's market—even if you're based in the U.S. To be truly marketable, you need to have the soft skills required by today's agile teams. That means you must have good communication skills, be a good team player, etc."

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Soft skills are “the most significant trend in recruiting,” says SenecaGlobal’s Szofer. “Computer science grads and those with certifications — these types of skills are indeed required. However, you must be able to communicate clearly, listen carefully, and be a strong team player — that’s what astute companies are now recruiting for.”

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The soft skills that are essential for any technology professional working in the industry fall into several key categories, according to Rao Tummalapalli, managing director and co-founder of IT consulting firm SenecaGlobal. One is communications, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These skills "have a direct bearing on one's productivity and value to their colleagues and clients," Tummalapalli says.

Another skill is collaboration. "It is very important that one can work with others and be an effective team member," Tummalapalli says. "The value proposition of a person, who is highly skilled otherwise, can diminish quickly when they can't work with others."

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"'Influence' explains the psychology of why people say yes, and how readers can apply this understanding to their personal and professional lives. Dr. Cialdini is a world-renowned expert in persuasion who brings 35 years of experience researching why people are moved to change behavior. The book includes six universal principles, with direction on how to use these guidelines to master the art of persuasion. I've used these principles to accomplish goals in my personal and professional lives, including everything from helping my employees reach their career goals to helping our global technology consulting company close new business. I recommend this book for anyone in a leadership position."

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Acording to a new study, 46 percent of organizations surveyed believe the skills gap within their organization has grown in scope or depth within the past two years. It’s a worse problem at larger organizations, the study explains: “IT businesses or organizations with 15 or more IT employees are also more likely to see significant growth in skills gaps.” Everyone is focusing on the hard skills that they’re missing. But what about the soft skills? Are they as important to the conversation?

Ed Szofer, Chief Executive Officer of SenecaGlobal, a global information technology consulting company, sure thinks so. Here’s his take on the skills crisis facing IT today — why the shortage of soft skills holds teams back and what actionable moves you can use to develop them on your own team.

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Earlier, the instructions for what was required were written down, and techies would turn that into code in two or three weeks, said Ed Szofer, CEO of SenecaGlobal, a product development outsourcing company. “Today, the tech, the way it’s being developed, is much more current and timely. Agile development is the way to work collaboratively with teams everyday…in a scrum session, on video or audio,” Szofer said. His 300-employee firm, with operations in Hyderabad, works in small teams of between five and 15, so every person needs to contribute on a project.

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It’s up to CIOs and other business leaders to give departments more autonomy around technology, while ensuring communication with IT remains open, according to Watson. Hybrid roles aren’t a replacement for IT — they’re a way to fill departmental skills gaps, while alleviating some of the burden from IT.

“Assume too much control of IT and you risk being criticized for slow delivery, lack of responsiveness and failure to meet the organization’s needs. Concede too much control to your peers and you risk exposing the organization to misaligned or even incorrect information, dis-integrated solutions and even data breaches,” says Watson.

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