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H1 Visa suspension creates uncertainty, new IT staffing opportunities

Unprecedented levels of unemployment, combined with a widespread viral epidemic, have created a turbulent atmosphere in the North American information technology labor market. A recent presidential executive order may complicate the situation further.

The executive order has suspended the issuance of H1 visas to foreign workers through the end of 2020, heavily impacting many U.S. businesses that employ IT specialists from around the globe. These affected companies are scrambling to digitalize their operations and find other means, such as “nearshoring,” around this sudden labor gap. Nearshoring is done when a
company offloads a project or projects to external human resources in a nearby country that is located within a nearby or identical time zone.

First, some background. The recent executive order comes on the heels of several months of economic turmoil, during which the unemployment rate in the United States has nearly quadrupled and various public health measures have been deployed in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Citing concern around “excess labor supply,” the executive order is partially intended to protect American workers from potential displacement during this period of record-breaking unemployment. However, lawful permanent residents who had previously been subject to immigrant visas will be granted “open market” employment authorization documents under
this order.

It will remain to be seen whether the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will impact the effectiveness of this measure or deter the country’s return to pre-outbreak economic output.

In the meantime, however, Canada may benefit as a close neighbor and trade partner to the United States during this period of shifting labor resources. With the H1 visa suspension in place, many experts are predicting that skilled migrant workers that otherwise would have brought their talents to the United States may end up working in Canada instead. Additionally, Canadian citizens previously working abroad in the U.S. may be funneled back to their home nation, creating a net labor gain in Canada’s favor.

Some estimates place the figure of Canadians relocating internationally for their careers at roughly 100,000 each year—with the majority entering the U.S. It’s possible that this figure could be affected significantly by this new change in the H1 Visa policy.

In recent years, many large technology companies, including several American firms, have established offices in Canada due to the northern country’s relatively easy access to skilled tech specialists from North America and beyond.

This situation creates new opportunities for U.S.-based firms to continue accessing the skilled IT employees they’ve come to rely on with a practice known as “nearshoring.”

Nearshoring has several benefits over traditional offshoring practices. These include easier communication due to a decreased difference in local time, fewer cultural differences, more convenient travel due to shorter distances, and more.

Enterprises looking to augment their labor pool with nearshoring can ensure better outcomes by working with the right nearshoring partner to suit their operations. CBTS offers several value-added nearshoring services, such as flexible pricing options, flexible hiring practices, a diverse and highly skilled talent pool, project leadership assistance, visa facilitation services, and more.

Contact CBTS today for more information on how a managed nearshoring solution can grant your organization the skilled labor it needs to reach its goals.

Rise to the challenge of managing short-term IT staffing needs

For today’s human resource professionals, recruiting for short-term specialists required to reach particular business goals is a crucial challenge. When an organization needs to upgrade existing technology or transition to a new solution, this staffing challenge becomes more complex.

When tasked with finding the right IT expert to carry out a short-term strategic initiative, HR staff members often devote the majority of their time toward filling that role. By diverting their attention, the management team disrupts standard HR workflows, taking away from the day-to-day functions necessary to keep the organization on target for high-priority business and
personnel goals.
Short-term specialty hires
For your IT department, the strategic initiatives you are recruiting for can range from customizing new technology like SD-WAN to improve cloud application performance, to accessing an expert programmer to build tailor-made interactive software. No matter the goal, challenges can arise when searching for the right IT expert, setting up the contract and benefits, onboarding and integrating them into the project, and extending or closing the project at the end of the term. 
To overcome these challenges, HR personnel will often meet with their internal IT team and other stakeholders to define the scope of the project and the required expertise to develop a plan. In the case of the SD-WAN implementation, for example, the IT team will report on the state of the current MPLS or hybrid WAN environment and desired outcomes for stakeholders, like a better cloud app experience at the branch level. From there, based on in-house expertise, the project leads can decide upon team size and skillsets needed to complete all tasks in the desired timeframe. They will also anticipate and document factors affecting the timeline, potential technical issues during implementation, and customizations required to work with and boost the performance of the existing infrastructure. 

With that input, the HR team and project leads can perform a workforce analysis, examining the details around the project team structure, task optimization, costs analysis, and any other factors that can affect outcomes.
Finding an IT staffing partner to help
With today’s streamlined workforces and often limited budgets to add personnel, project leads frequently find they don’t have the internal resources available for a deep-dive analysis to uncover the gaps. Moreover, many companies now outsource a majority of their HR functions to third-party providers; indeed, the transition of many enterprise workflows is well underway to more agile and digital models. Also, many organizations have partnered with IT companies that offer flexible staffing—for both day-to-day maintenance focused on efficiency and cost containment and for more strategic needs aimed at innovation and technologies to address future business goals. 

Under this bimodal IT staffing model, companies can shift their staffing levels with the technical demands of the business, mirroring the ways they can dynamically scale cloud services in real time. And for their strategic initiatives, the same IT partner can bring in the right skillsets from people with specific expertise within the desired timeframe and budget. In this manner, people responsible for an often time-consuming and expensive search for technical specialists can now direct their attention to meeting both core and strategic business goals.
Finding qualified IT candidates, however, is just the start of the process Today’s technology savvy enterprises often turn to outside staffing companies for a wide array of employee management tasks traditionally handled by managers and the HR team. Although not all of these functions will apply to specialized personnel, your IT staffing partner often assists with scheduling, payroll, retirement and benefits, training, and professional certifications, among others. The goal is to provide only the services your company needs to maintain quality staff for its everyday and project-oriented workload. 

In an era of intense competition and thin margins, it’s important to recognize when enterprise employees are stretched to their limits. By offloading non-core functions to providers with the ability to deliver higher quality at lower costs, employees can focus on the revenue-generating activities key to a company’s growth and success.

For companies starting or continuing on their digital transformation journey, the decision is easy. To discover how CBTS IT Staffing and Consulting Services can help, download the eBook today.

Use short-term staffing to aid in digital transformation

Technology continues to evolve at an exponential pace. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, cloud computing, or virtual networking, the advancements in technological applications are astounding.

Yet the fact remains that technology is only as good as the people using it.

This means that IT staffing is often a bottleneck for organizations that are trying to innovate and evolve by leveraging new technologies to solve workplace challenges. In fact, the difficulties organizations face in hiring full-time IT staff has become a business challenge of its own.

To overcome IT staffing challenges, consider partnering with a services provider that can supply your organization with short-term, contracted IT professionals.

Short-term contract workers offer cutting edge skills while reducing costs

CBTS helps address the talent gap challenge by providing skilled temporary workers during periods of peak activity.

Short-term contract workers can assist a business moving through a digital transformation, or help a business adapt when the pace of change makes hiring and training a full-time staff person not feasible.

Using contracted IT professionals eliminates an employer’s responsibility for payroll, benefits, and other costly aspects of full-time or even part-time employment.

Hiring part-time contract IT workers also provides a targeted, scalable approach to workforce management. A contract worker’s skills remain at the cutting edge of IT advancements without the need for the employer to pay the cost of continuing education. Likewise, the use of contracted IT professionals allows a business to constantly adjust the workloads to optimally support the business’ needs.

A third-party services provider integrates workers and alleviates HR stress

Managing short-term contracted IT workers brings its own set of challenges.

Businesses that work with short-term contracted IT professionals need to match the right people to the right job, integrate contractual workers into a workforce that includes full-time and part-time employees, and conduct background checks, security clearance checks, and resource assignments.

Businesses that work with short-term contracted IT professionals need to match the right people to the right job, integrate contractual workers into a workforce that includes full-time and part-time employees, and conduct background checks, security clearance checks, and resource assignments.

By working with an experienced IT service provider, the enterprise can bring in workers who are fully trained in a wide range of disciplines.

Working with a third party can also alleviate stress on human resource departments by eliminating the need for tasks such as timesheet management, expense reporting, and scheduling.

Third-party IT providers also train the staff they provide, which means contract workers will have cutting edge training and expertise in high-tech environments. Third party staffing providers have a wealth of resources at their disposal to meet any IT need, including outside consultants, support from professional organizations, and technology vendor expertise.

Working with a third-party IT staffing provider turns your workforce into the agile, team-oriented organization that is necessary to compete in today’s environment. The organization will be able to match tasks with appropriate skill sets, especially when those tasks require specialized expertise in cutting-edge technologies.

Learn more about how CBTS IT Staffing and Consulting services can help your organization address the IT talent gap and contact CBTS today.

Build an IT workforce as dynamic as your infrastructure

As the modern enterprise struggles to keep up with rapidly evolving technology, finding the right IT professionals to manage increasingly dynamic and automated workflows can be challenging.

While work environments are becoming inundated with highly technical projects and platforms, there are not enough skilled technical professionals to handle them. This issue is particularly troublesome when it comes to niche functions requiring specialized skills that, more often than not, do not lend themselves to the bulk of the enterprise workload. In cases like this, business leaders are forced to task existing IT professionals with performing duties for which they have not been adequately trained, or they must hire specialists, usually at great cost, who will devote the majority of their time on lower-level functions.

This is why many organizations are turning to IT consulting services for their staffing needs. For a steady, predictable fee, organizations gain access to the talent they need when they need it, without having to wade into the complexities of payroll, benefits, training, and a host of other requirements.

Attract and retain the right IT professionals for your business

According to ZDNet, the most difficult jobs to fill in the enterprise are data scientists, IT architects, and security engineers. These jobs require years of rigorous training in some of the most challenging STEM disciplines available. For this reason, the talent pool for these positions is shallow, forcing companies to offer not just high salaries but a wide range of incentives—everything from stock options to generous leave packages—in order to attract the top candidates.

Despite this, many CIOs continue to shoulder the burden of emerging digital transformation initiatives and strategic business operations, including those related to data science, security, and risk management. This is a double-edged sword because the more time a CIO devotes to this level of work, the less time they have for recruiting and hiring the talent needed to push these initiatives forward, leading in many cases to existing talent heading for the exit doors.

While it may be tempting to think that automation and artificial intelligence will ultimately replace many of these jobs, it turns out that the exact opposite is true. Not only will organizations need to acquire new talent to operate and manage these oncoming technologies, but they will have to maintain a workforce to oversee legacy infrastructure. As the workforce ages, of course, experts in these earlier technologies will become harder to find, just as today’s top organizations face a shortage of skilled technicians for the mainframes that continue to serve data in this age of the cloud.

Outsourcing IT staffing needs is the perfect end-run around all of these challenges. At CBTS, we maintain a large pool of highly vetted, trained, and certified IT specialists backed by an experienced team of technology professionals. Regardless of your particular challenges, we provide instant access to people who can analyze and optimize your data ecosystem. 

CBTS IT Staffing solutions

Our staffing solutions are available in multiple formats to provide the flexibility needed to solve any challenge. These include:

  • Project-based resources. Resources are available across multiple technologies to assist with short- and long-term project-based work. They are engaged initially to assist with the design, engineering, and installation needs. The client is billed either on an hourly or fixed price basis.
  • Staff augmentation. CBTS has nine full-time professional recruiters who work with our clients to meet their staffing needs. We match client needs with the appropriate IT talent by searching our extensively proprietary and subscribed databases. We use the same diligence to pre-screen all resources—short-term contractors or permanent hires—before they are presented to the client for review.
  • Permanent hire resources – If a client chooses, we can also recruit resources to be places at a customer site as a full-time staff member. Our recruiting team applies the same diligence in searching for full-time staff for our clients.

The upside for the enterprise is multifaceted. As mentioned above, it eliminates full-time employee benefit costs for short-term employment while providing top-notch talent that is fully up-to-speed on emerging technologies and industry best practices. At the same time, it allows organizations to maintain a more flexible, scalable staffing environment that limits cost overruns and more precisely matches skill sets with work requirements.

In today’s economy, efficiency is becoming the key driver of success. Emerging data platforms are doing wonders at driving inefficiency from supply chains, development processes, back-office functions and customer-facing tasks like sales and support. The next step is to ensure that your workforce is just as dynamic and adaptable as your technology with the right IT professionals.
To learn more about CBTS IT Staffing and Consulting Services, please download our infosheet and visit our IT Staffing and Consulting page.

How to efficiently search for executive technical talent

Finding the right executive talent to manage a rapidly evolving technology environment is proving to be one of the most significant challenges facing the enterprise in this age of digital transformation.

The fact of the matter is, those who are qualified for senior-level IT jobs have spent the bulk of their careers overseeing the static, silo-laden infrastructure of the on-premises data center and have only recently come to grips with the scalability and availability of the cloud. In short order, however, both of these environments will become steeped in artificial intelligence, system autonomy, and a host of other technologies that will not only remake data infrastructure itself but also business processes, services, and perhaps the entire business model.

This puts the enterprise in an unstable position when it suddenly finds itself without a key player since it can leave a major gap in day-to-day operations or even bring key processes to a standstill. With the business at risk, then, the faster you can fill that job with a qualified candidate and then transfer the necessary knowledge, the faster you reduce the severity and duration of the situation.

Attributes technically-inclined executive talent should have

The problem that most organizations encounter is that the pool of candidates possessing the right experience and leadership skills is limited. Ideally, you need to find not just a good manager but a technology visionary with the following skillsets:

  • Communications. When working with non-technical executive leadership or front-line employees, the candidate must be able to translate complex technology solutions in ways that are both relatable and compelling. Likewise, they must be able to understand the needs and concerns of others as they relate to the mission of the organization.
  • Foresight. The ability to seek out mission leaders and champion new initiatives, even in the face of internal blowback, is essential. This skill must apply not only to new deployments but in supporting ongoing programs as well.
  • Deep knowledge. Tech leaders should have a broad knowledge of technologies and technology initiatives and should be fully versed in the impact they will have on legacy operations and future goals. The ability to determine risk and evaluate risk ownership is also a key attribute.
  • Leadership. Mentoring, monitoring, and managing both individuals and teams is a crucial aspect of the job. Successful project management is also required, as is longer-term strategic thinking.

Laying out the requirements for top technical talent is one thing, actually finding qualified candidates is quite another. A typical mistake is to rely on internal HR and other sources to locate and vet candidates when there are specialized consultants and staffing services that can tap a far wider range of resources to acquire senior-level candidates.

CBTS provides access to top executive talent

At CBTS, we provide quick access to top executive talent with all of the skills needed to take control of demanding technical environments. Since we are at heart a technology company, we understand the technical needs of our clients and what it takes to achieve success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Our subject matter professionals prescreen all potential candidates to ensure they are experts in their respective fields and maintain all the necessary training and certifications. We also provide a range of staffing solutions, from temporary placements to maintain operations while permanent hires are being vetted, to the transition of the temp executive to full-time status should they turn out to be the right person for the job. Either way, the enterprise saves time and money during the appointment process and lessens the risk of a bad hire or termination.


Despite all of the advanced technology that has come to bear on the modern business model, the most valuable enterprise asset remains its human talent, particularly those at the top of the organizational structure. Vacancies at this level must be filled quickly but not carelessly. By turning to outside help like CBTS, organizations will find that they can satisfy both demands with a temporary hire in conjunction with a thorough, professional candidate search.

For information on how CBTS can help with your staffing needs, please visit:

CBTS closes technology gap for schools

School systems are under immense pressure to do more with less. Parents and voters insist administrators demonstrate and document continuous improvements in learning outcomes. And students are forced to master advanced technologies at every level, from elementary school to college to the workplace.

Administrators can work toward closing the technology gap for urban schools and stay competitive, but they are often forced to provide substantial evidence that IT investments will generate a return, both in the classroom and the community.

Confronting legacy systems

When the Dayton Public School District (DPSD) began its search for an experienced, primary IT partner, Information Systems Committee members knew they needed a more comprehensive approach to technology. Stakeholders would closely scrutinize any investments, and committee members wanted to ensure the technology infrastructure and resources would meet ever-increasing demands.

The urban school district had disparate legacy systems, and needed a partner to lead an all-encompassing review of the environment and develop a long-term technology roadmap to support its strategic vision.

The district needed centralized management by a single IT partner to ensure all systems and services would function together securely and reliably. The partner would be responsible for addressing the IT talent gap, including project management and delivery of comprehensive services from help desk, training, and break/fix maintenance to hosted ERP support, setting software standards, application development, and network monitoring and management.

Dayton’s roadmap to technology recovery

Before CBTS consultants began assessing the district’s infrastructure to set priorities, they worked with school leaders to define the technology challenges they needed to overcome:

  • User experience. DPSD had to deliver high-capacity, rich user experiences across a vast array of devices, audiences, and technologies.
  • DPSD technology needed to address the different security threats faced at each academic level to protect students, staff, and the institution.
  • Aging systems. The district wanted to confront limitations of its legacy systems and network infrastructure to improve performance.
  • District technology required increased performance and service quality to support both current budget levels and cost reductions over time.
  • DPSD needed the ability to scale technology to account for changes in the system when schools open, close, or consolidate.
  • Limited IT staff. The Dayton district required expertise beyond in-house IT personnel to design and implement advanced technologies and the latest security strategies.

CBTS recommended a holistic, vendor-neutral approach, with specialized assessments to be performed by CBTS and subcontractor consultants for each IT area of expertise. The CBTS project manager orchestrated the assessments and timeline, and from the collected data, CBTS created a technology plan defining current and future infrastructure needs that align with the district’s strategic plan.

CBTS reins in costs with best-in-class partnerships

By engaging proven, certified experts in each IT discipline, CBTS reined in costs for implementation and ongoing management, dividing work among:

  • CBTS: Project management, technical coordination, network management, Novell support, and asset management.
  • CDO Technologies, Inc.: Desktop, software implementation, integration services, and training.
  • Nu Vision: Telecommunications support.
  • Platinum Technologies: Helpdesk support, application development, and desktop rollout.

This arrangement gives DPSD access to highly skilled IT talent and industry best practices to help internal IT staff overcome technology challenges so they can focus on supporting the district’s five strategic goals:

  • High-quality education. Acquire the technology teachers, staff, and students need to develop skills for success and ensure a safe and secure environment.
  • High-quality faculty and staff. Give teachers the technology to innovate in the classroom and communicate effectively with students, parents, community members, and other staff members.
  • Engage parents. Use technology to connect parents and support them as allies in each student’s education and development.
  • Community collaborations and partnerships. Build trust and support through secure, stable, and fast technology solutions connecting the district to community members and partners.
  • Fiscal responsibility and accountability. Find ways to increase technology performance, reliability, and security while reducing overall costs.

Learn more about the CBTS partnership with DPSD here. Discover more about how CBTS delivers state-of-the-art technology for today’s schools and universities to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of students, parents, faculty members, administrators, and community stakeholders. We’re closing the technology gap for urban schools and ready to explore your education system challenges.


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Four questions for IT staffing partners

Ask any CIO what’s the biggest challenge they face, and they will likely answer “the IT talent gap.” While this issue is nothing new, organizations continue to experience difficulty filling critical roles with qualified individuals.

Before reconsidering taking on projects, however, try seeking out the help of an IT staffing partner to find talented resources. IT staffing partners can help your organization find the right IT professionals, augment your staff, and even become permanent members of your team.

Here are four key questions to consider when choosing a staffing partner for your business:

Do you have experience placing resources in my industry?

No two industries are alike. Each has specific individual considerations, requirements, and regulations. It is crucial that your staffing partner thoroughly understands your sector when placing candidates.

CBTS leverages a database with thousands of proven IT professionals from a variety of backgrounds. As a result, CBTS has successfully placed candidates in numerous industries, making their services effective even when filling niche positions.

Do your IT professionals have experience with this type of project?

It is important to understand your IT staffing partner’s previous experience. CBTS specialists have worked on a wide range of operations, so you know you are bringing in an experienced partner when you work with CBTS.

Whether you’re migrating to the cloud, implementing new technologies, or recovering from a breach, cover your business by partnering with proven staffing consultants.

Does your team have the right certifications?

Make sure your IT staffing partner has highly certified professionals on their team. Your different project needs may require IT professionals with specific backgrounds.

The CBTS database is filled with trained specialists who are fully certified and supported by a team of technology professionals. By confirming your IT staffing partner’s professionals have the certifications you need, you ensure you’re engaging candidates who will work effectively within your organization.

Do you offer project management?

As you bring in outside resources for important IT projects, you’ll want to ensure all of your professionals work as a single unit. It’s a smart idea to employ a project manager who can keep all initiatives on track to consistently meet your company’s goals. By choosing an IT staffing partner that places candidates in project management roles, you achieve cohesion among departments and produce well-executed projects.

When your business’ projects require skilled IT professionals, turning to an IT staffing partner can enhance the success of your organization. CBTS IT Staffing and Consulting solutions include project-based resources, staff augmentation services, and permanent hire resources.

CBTS pulls from a recruiting pool of more than 40,000 potential candidates and over 900 consultants across all areas of IT. Partnering with CBTS guarantees you access to highly skilled, dynamic professionals, who are ready and waiting to be deployed.

Download our free eBook for more advice on selecting an IT staffing partner, and read more about IT Staffing team at CBTS.

Why AI can’t replace IT recruiters

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting all industries and changing the way organizations operate at every level. AI developments support programs that ease the burden of many operational tasks. There are even some cases where this technology has the power to make certain jobs obsolete. So with AI taking over more and more complex operations, what is the relationship between AI and recruiting and, have recruiters become a thing of the past?

The answer is a resounding “No.” In fact, recruiters play an increasingly important role in the IT industry. The IT gap has made it difficult for companies to find experienced, certified IT professionals to support their business, and IT leaders are turning to staffing partners for everything from project-based resources to full-time hires.

Here are two key reasons why AI cannot fill the vital role that recruiters play in the IT industry.

1) Recruiting means building relationships.

Recruiting at its core is about fostering relationships—with the company you’ve taken on as a client, and with prospective IT professionals. Nurturing connections with IT professionals and learning about their desired career paths, skills, and who they are as individuals are essential parts of successful recruiting. The key is working with clients to identify their IT goals and assess which candidate will help achieve desired outcomes.

While AI may be able to identify candidates with a preferred skill set, it lacks the ability to build strong relationships with both the client and those prospective candidates.

2) Soft skills are just as important as experience and certifications.

Looking “good on paper” isn’t enough for most organizations. The right IT professional needs to have soft skills such as good communication and problem solving in order to succeed in their role.

Some candidates choose to list these skills on their resume or cover letter, but validating that the individual truly has these attributes often takes extensive screening and several face-to-face conversations.

New technology can help recruiters improve their process.

So what role does AI play in the recruiting process? New technologies are improving the daily workflow. Programs are now managing database systems, scheduling interview appointments, connecting with clients, and easily reaching new prospects. These platforms improve efficiency and allow recruiters to focus on successfully placing resources.

AI technology continues to grow and develop, and the benefits in streamlining processes and techniques are obvious. Just remember that AI cannot replace the soft skills that humans possess when it comes to building relationships and identifying essential qualities in potential candidates.

CBTS IT Staffing and Consulting solutions offer project-based resources, staff augmentation resources, and permanent hires. We have a team of more than 900 full-time consultants and a database of more than 40,000 IT professionals to help meet your needs.

AI isn’t replacing recruiters, but we do believe AI has the power to help our IT staffing and consulting team do their jobs even better. To learn more about AI and recruiting, download our free guide, “Six ways AI will transform the future of IT recruiting.

Blended IT organization solves CIO challenges

The technology challenges come at you from all angles.

You need the right talent to keep the executive suite happy. There’s never enough time or money to do everything with full-timers. You need a blend of excellent full- and part-time experts to wrangle legacy technologies and stay competitive.

A blended IT organization deploys full-timers, part-timers, and contractors to drive the most benefit in the shortest time frame at the optimum budget. Here’s a look at four core challenges you can address with a blended IT organization:

1. Experienced experts are hard to find (and costly to hire)

Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding full-time technology experts can be exasperating for employers and employees alike. For instance, reported on a recent survey which found that companies take an average of more than four weeks to hire a full-time technology employee. The same study found that about two-thirds of non-management technology workers said they’d start losing interest in a company if they had no follow-up within two weeks of an interview.

Employing the most in-demand IT professionals can put a dent in your payroll budget. Consider these sample annual salaries from U.S. News & World Report:

  • IT manager: $135,800
  • Computer network architect: $101,210
  • Software developer: $102,280
  • Information security analyst: $92,600

Note: These are median salaries, so half of these jobs pay even more.

A blended IT solution, by contrast, can put experienced IT professionals to work within days. Often, they have the precise training and certifications for your business needs. And they can do IT work at every level, from beginning coder to veteran system architect.

Related: CBTS helps CIOs address IT gap.

2. Your IT team has limited resources—but your organization has high expectations

It’s the nature of IT processes to deliver efficiency gains that help an entire organization get more production from fewer people. IT leadership cannot escape the pressure to squeeze greater performance from finite resources.

A blended IT team can help you improve technology performance without hiring more IT people. Your staffing partner can mix and match talent with part-timers, project-based workers, and highly skilled specialists who can fill in when you need them.

You pay only for the labor you need—and at a predictable rate. If your project requires four people for exactly 17 days, your IT staffing partner can find them and put them to work much faster than you ever could on your own. When the 17 days are up, your costs end.

3. Your legacy systems pose more challenges as they age

Enterprises often stick with legacy technologies because the tools may still suit their needs and implementing a new system can be expensive.

But these legacy systems become more expensive to maintain with every passing year. The experts in legacy tech are hitting retirement age, and colleges aren’t training people to master old-school systems.

However, legacy-system experts have not vanished. It’s just difficult to find them and put them to work on your projects. Moreover, technologies like APIs and service layers can help you pull more performance from your legacy systems.

A consultant who specializes in placing IT experts in blended environments will help you find the savviest solution to your legacy technology challenges. Some old technologies will have to be replaced eventually, but you can mold that replacement to your unique business needs if you have a strong staffing partner.

4. Your organization needs to evolve and innovate ASAP

Venture capitalists are pouring billions into startups angling to push incumbents to the sidelines. Cloud technologies, the Internet of Things, AI, and big data present beguiling opportunities to build a moat around your organization and fend off disruptive threats.

It takes best-in-class talent to tap these opportunities. And that talent could be distributed across a half-dozen disciplines and a few dozen technology certifications. Most likely, you don’t need full-time staffers to handle this work. You’re more apt to need a project team that can design a solution, implement it, and train your staff to use it within a tight time frame.

Rapid-fire digital transformation requires talent targeted with laser precision. You might have some of the expertise you need on staff, but you’re far more likely to require highly trained specialists for short-term projects. Typically, your only chance to cover all your bases is to work with a veteran IT staffing consultant.

Staffing up with CBTS Consulting Services

Over the past three decades, CBTS has solved sophisticated IT challenges for companies in every industry. Delivering these solutions required us to contract with highly trained IT professionals across all the most common technology disciplines (and many of the uncommon ones).

Everything we’ve learned about matching IT experts with difficult challenges has gone into our Consulting Services. We have a database with more than 40,000 IT professionals who can do pretty much everything.  Our staffing solutions can place IT experts in your organization while we handle all the payroll details.

To find out how a blended IT structure can help your organization address IT challenges and unleash innovation, please download our free guide.


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Security starts with enterprise IT knowledge

Security starts with enterprise IT knowledge

Justin Hall is Director – Security Services for CBTS. In Part 1 of this 3-part series, Justin discusses how  a core knowledge of enterprise IT is critical in order to effectively protect networks.

For several years I’ve been going back to my alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, to speak to groups of undergrad and graduate students about the information security industry. My goal is to demystify security and inspire them to consider a career in one of a dozen security disciplines.

Invariably during these talks I am asked a very common question: “How do I get a job in the security industry?” In response, I’ll share my own 20-year story, starting in PC repair and sales, moving to tech support, systems administration, and running an IT department, before jumping into a security career – first as an engineer, architect, and consultant, and then running a security team.

I’ll also share three essentials to successfully landing a security job, which I’m going to cover in this blog series. There’s no single path to the industry, to be sure. In order to develop a foundation that can land an entry-level job and provide an arc to a long-term career, it’s worth looking into these fundamentals.

Core knowledge of enterprise IT

Today, we’ll cover number one: a core knowledge of enterprise IT. This is perhaps a bit obvious – certainly someone needs to be technical and understand how a computer works to survive in security, right?

The depth required goes beyond CPU, RAM, and a hard disk. To effectively protect any company network, one needs to recognize the critical components – servers, workstations, network devices, applications, and security defenses. How do they interact? In what network segments do they typically sit? What products or solutions are commonly used in each of these categories? At a high level, what are the essential configuration best practices for each?

For example: Imagine a network used by a physician’s office. Think about the variety of computing devices in use there: Beyond traditional workstations, multi-function printers, and laptops, you might see connected medical devices, credit-card processing machines, and surveillance cameras. Servers would run authentication systems, file management, accounting and finance, ERP, messaging, and electronic medical record apps. Some may be running from local servers, and some may sit in the cloud. Network devices will include switches, routers, wireless access points, and firewalls.

Now imagine a software company. What types of assets would be the same as the physician’s office? What would be different? How would their IT needs be similar/different? What about a retailer or bank? What happens when you add multiple sites/locations? Imagine scaling up to the size of a multinational conglomerate. Think about the pieces and parts that need to change, duplicate, or scale.

Enterprise IT involves depth and breadth

This scope of understanding is what I mean by “knowing enterprise IT.” There’s a level of depth in addition to the breadth, though. Defending an environment with Windows workstations and servers, for example, means understanding the fundamentals of what makes Windows tick – the filesystem, registry, Group Policy, configuration, and the like.

How does one acquire this knowledge?

  • Build it yourself! A home lab is a great place to get hands-on experience with enterprise IT. You could grab an old PC and install free versions of VMware’s vSphere or Microsoft’s HyperV, and deploy eval copies of Windows Server and workstation OS’s, Linux, or a variety of prebuilt VM appliances. Tons of great tutorials exist – I like this one from Paul Braren on building a VMware ESX lab.
  • You could also use free or inexpensive tiers of service offered by IaaS providers like AWS, Azure, or DigitalOcean to build VMs quickly, install and configure applications, and build virtual networks.
  • If you’re serious about improving your enterprise IT knowledge, and want to invest your time and money, find a local university or online school that offers IT courses or degree programs.
  • Finally, take the plunge and find a systems or network administration job. Without a formal education in security, it’s rare to be able to jump right in without doing the so-called “grunt work” needed to acquire real-world experience. A few years building, breaking, and fixing some enterprise networks is sure to cement your ability to operate with comfort in the industry.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for part two.

Read more about Security offerings from CBTS.  And read this case study to learn how CBTS helped an enterprise client form  a security strategy to advance their maturity, increase their risk management capabilities, reduce the attack surface for each business line, and improve their overall corporate security posture.