Ultimately, succeeding in the tech industry is about finding the smartest and most talented people, and sometimes organizations have to extend their search past the physical borders of the city or state they operate in. This is particularly true in South Florida. According to research from Maryland-based IT firm TEKsystems, more than half the open positions at local IT firms come from outside the area.
Analysts say this isn't an indictment against the local economy or the number of qualified professionals in the area and does not indicate that the area cannot be a successful technology hub. Chris Van Wormer, the director of TEKsystems' Fort Lauderdale and Miami offices, is particularly optimistic about the prospects of the IT industry in South Florida.
"The industry is active and very healthy," Van Wormer said. "I think we probably just don't see as much as the other technology hubs throughout the country."
Currently, 47 percent of Miami IT positions are filled locally and 44 percent are filled locally in Fort Lauderdale. In Tampa, only 33 percent of IT workers come from the area. It should be noted that the major cities in Florida attract far more local IT talent than the biggest tech hubs in the country, including Northern California, Seattle and Boston, where tech firms are staffed with less than 20 percent of local professionals. Some analysts suggest that Southern Florida's top technology professionals are migrating to these areas rather than working in their neighborhood. Van Wormer says while this isn't as big an issue as some make it out to be, firms in the area can help their cause by planning ahead.
"IT and business leaders need to focus on the technology and the strategy at the beginning of the year to make sure they have a 'people plan' in place," he said.
Technology is becoming an increasingly important component of business operations throughout the corporate landscape and many firms may reach out to VARs and MSPs to meet their business needs. Given the constant movement of tech professionals throughout the country, it's important for solution providers to identify and recruit the talent they need to be successful. VAR Staffing can assist with this effort.