State and local governments have always had a tough time attracting top-tier talent. The reason? They just can’t pay as much as the corporate world can pay, and it shows. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of IT. In recent years, the lower average pay is only one dimension of the problem. Many of the IT professionals at the State and Local government level are baby boomers, who are retiring at an alarming rate. As they leave, they’re taking a wealth of industry experience with them, and it’s causing no end of problems for the government.
Multiple Responses To A Thorny Problem
Different states, and indeed, different departments within government agencies have responded in a variety of ways to the problem. One thing that very few of them (only about one in ten, actually), are doing though, is hiring new IT staff to replace those who are retiring.
The two most common responses to the growing issue have been to make increasing use of low, or unpaid interns, and outsourcing. As you might imagine, reliance on interns might be a cheap solution, but is very far from being ideal, especially when considering the difference in expertise between the retiring baby boomer with decades of hands-on experience and the eager-but-completely-untrained intern. Interns might work for lower level support positions, but it’s hard to see how it’s a win for any department charged with the security of the kind of sensitive data that government agencies regularly deal in.
That leaves outsourcing, which is the direction that the majority of state-level IT departments are moving in. Outsourcing represents a huge opportunity for managed service providers that can bring years of IT experience and bridge the gap left by retiring government IT staff.
When considering government as a vertical, it is important to thoroughly understand the bid process, timelines, expectations, formatting, and intricacies that go into winning a government contract. These required processes can often times discourage other bidders, limiting the number of options for government agencies and making the opportunity even more enticing.
For those that have the time and ability to learn how to effectively navigate state and local government waters, the mass exodus of the Boomer generation represents a veritable gold mine of opportunity. MSPs and VARs will be relied on to help deliver necessary IT services. Understanding how state and local government business can add revenue to already established lines of business is something every MSP and VAR support staff member should know. VAR Staffing helps by identifying and recruiting the best and most knowledgeable professionals, and help grow your top line revenue through effective delivery of technical services and products.