Plugging the critical tech talent gaps
The imperative for all organisations to keep the roster of tech talent up-to-scratch is growing, and nowhere is this felt more acutely than in the realm of digital skills. With technology constantly evolving, and the ways it can be applied to working practices always expanding, there is a great need for all organisations to have access to a constant supply of tech talent.
However, the need for technology talent is not restricted to technology companies alone. Business across all sectors is increasingly enabled by the use of technology, and even employees in roles not necessarily directly related to technology nonetheless need to know how to deploy and manage it successfully.
Employees know this, and there is a growing recognition among existing and prospective employees that there are alternatives to organisations that don’t nurture their skills or offer career fulfilment. Record numbers of people are now quitting jobs in search of roles that offer more fulfilment or development opportunities. And this is driving an imperative for employers, in all industries, to up their game when it comes to bringing in and nurturing new tech talent. After all, in order to achieve business success, you need the right talent.
Whether your organisation is public service, manufacturing, legal or just about anything else, identifying and attracting the right talent is critical. However, as all organisations chase the same finite pool of talent, it’s inevitable that gaps will open up, and if these gaps remain for too long, they can seriously hinder your organisation’s competitiveness.
The following three case studies show how QA has helped some of its clients continue to move forward at pace, by helping to deploy tech talent with the right skills into their organisations rapidly. Using our ‘Recruit-Train-Deploy’ model QA is able to supply talent with the right skills, sometimes within a matter of weeks.
RAPID RESOURCE: HELPING THE HOME OFFICE PROTECT BRITAIN
The Home Office made the strategic decision to design, implement and maintain an application build and test-automation platform on UK cloud and AWS cloud platforms. They also made a subsequent decision to migrate existing cloud services to AWS and Azure.
However, they didn’t have the skills and capabilities in-house in the required technologies, such as DevOps, to deliver this project, and where they did have capability internally, they lacked the capacity to support the project. So, they needed to rapidly increase both their capability and capacity to deliver this initiative.
Rapid, ready-made teams of automation engineers
QA provided a talent solution for the Home Office. We provided ready-made teams of skilled automation engineers to quickly fire up their technical capability and resource bandwidth to support this project. Initially, we deployed three fully-trained automation engineers to work on the initiative – so the Home Office could see how our solution would work in practice, and understand its success.
Pleased with the outcome of this initial pilot, the Home Office subsequently scaled our solution. We deployed over 30 automation engineers in structured teams, made up of ready-made teams of our junior consultants, each led by one of our senior consultants. With QA’s support, the Home Office was able to successfully deliver their cloud-based platform.
YOUNG TALENT: BREAKING INTO THE BANK
Though it was established as a private bank to the government back in 1694, the Bank of England is now the UK’s central bank, responsible for maintaining monetary and financial stability. Like many institutions today, the Bank of England has embarked on a massive digital transformation journey, introducing new applications and software to promote more innovative, agile ways of working.
To support these efforts, the Bank of England started looking for tech talent partners in 2019, which could help them source high-quality development and software engineers. They were looking for a combination of junior and senior engineers, who would augment the capabilities of the bank and help to test new software.
The Bank of England was immediately drawn to QA’s model, which promised cost-effective, high-potential talent that could be deployed rapidly and then be mentored and developed.
The bottom line
Today, the Bank of England has 12 QA tech specialists working on various projects across the bank. The majority of these are graduates fresh out of university, who after undergoing intensive training within QA’s academy to give them the tech skills required, are now continuing to specialise further with ongoing support from QA. While using younger talent with minimal commercial experience may seem like a risk to some, the Bank of England views it as an advantage – especially in a fast-paced world that demands agility.
It’s not just the junior talent that they find beneficial. James Lyndsay, a Senior Test Manager from QA, also supports the juniors on the ground. He hosts 1:1 catch-ups and daily stand-ups, ensuring that the team is coping and that they consistently deliver work of a high standard. This set-up has been a game changer for the Bank of England – and is something it’s started demanding from other talent partners as well.
RoS: A MODERN TAKE ON TRADITION
Registers of Scotland (RoS) is responsible for keeping public registers of land, property and other legal documents in Scotland. They are directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
In 2017, RoS started a digital transformation programme to modernise their land registry activities. RoS had previously outsourced most of its technology development to third party contractors but had identified Pega as a platform that would allow them to do this in-house. RoS lacked sufficient talent with the familiarity of Pega capability required to meet their objectives.
QA carried out a discovery phase with RoS to understand their objectives and their technology landscape and skills gaps – ultimately determining the need to establish a Pega Centre of Excellence.
QA provided a team of graduate consultants and more experienced senior consultants to join the existing Pega implementation team at RoS. The graduate consultants were trained in Pega through QA’s 12-week intensive academy.
How the land lies
QA consultants have now been in place at RoS for over 2 years. They are an integral part of the current and future projects carried out by the Pega Centre of Excellence. The skills that QA specialists had were far more advanced than RoS expected and made a large contribution very quickly. QA has:
- Supported automation and digitisation of records management for land registry activities.
- Deployed experienced permanent employees – including a Senior Systems Architect and System Architects – into a multi-supplier Pega-led team.
- Provided ongoing support on-site – covering everything from bug fixes to new configuration and build to design.
We hope these few examples serve to illustrate how an agile approach to plugging critical tech skills gaps can help to achieve success across a range of different organisations and not just the tech-centric businesses you might expect.
With the competition for new talent becoming ever fiercer and more compounded by the ‘Great Resignation’, QA believes that solutions such as this can be incredibly valuable alongside longer-term talent solutions.
To find out more, contact us to speak to a QA expert today.
Katie NykanenKatie Nykanen is QA's Chief Technology Officer, leading QA's group technology function. She has over 20 years industry experience, was named female CTO of the Year in 2019 and placed #16 on the CIO 100 list.