In my previous blog, I talked about companies needing to structure their IT organizations so they are leaner, more agile and able to constantly use the world’s best coders with the rarest and newest skills that are dramatically scarce. To achieve these goals, I explained that they need to consider using a gig platform as an integral part of IT.
In the blog, I explained the benefits, especially accelerating the rebuilding of a business in the post-COVID-19 world. However, companies must understand the challenge in embracing a gig platform at scale: they must first restructure their organization. Here is a look at some important considerations and what is involved.
IT Skills Nightmare
Companies laid off many IT professionals during the COVID-19 crisis, so there is now a surplus of IT workers available. However, they lack key critical skills for new cloud-enabled technologies. Furthermore, third-party service providers struggle with the same issues. Legacy skills such as COBOL programming are difficult to find. And it’s almost impossible to find talent with critical skills in new technologies such as cloud applications, artificial intelligence and machine learning, API management, high-end custom app development and IoT.
I believe that the demand for the critical skills will increase, not decrease, after the COVID-19 crisis ends. In a recession, companies will look to pivot back to saving money as a way of being competitive.
Because of the current and continuing talent challenges, CIOs / CTOs face a nightmare in trying to maintain stability in their legacy environment while also basing development of new critical systems in a cloud environment. Gig platforms with access to freelancers with expert skills are a solution for this dilemma.
In the market for more than a decade, these gig platforms such as Topcoder, Field Nation, Gigster, Fiverr and others have proven capabilities at scale. Topcoder, for instance, is the world’s largest technology network and on-demand digital talent platform with more than 1.5 million developers, designers, data scientists and testers.
If your company decides to incorporate a gig platform to access top IT talent and create a flexible, resilient workforce, you will want to ensure you can use the platform at scale. Here are some of the necessary changes your company will need to make.
Different Mindset Required
Incorporating a gig platform as a major component of delivering IT, it requires a mindset change. Consider the implications in the comparison of mindsets below.
Current Mindset: We have our own development teams and we also have consistent virtual development teams through our third-party service providers. This is how we create stability and effectiveness.
Gig Platform Mindset Change: There is a US talent deficit of 25% in supporting existing demand, and the demand curve for those skills is growing almost exponentially. Even if we can hire people, we cannot keep them. So, we most do something different. Using a gig platform seems to be the best solution, but the implications are significant:
· If we develop the code using the gig platform, how can we maintain the code? How can we keep that knowledge?
· Although we might be able to develop a specific component of code, how would we develop an entire working end-to-end system?
· How will we support applications in perpetuity that we develop using the gig platform? Maintaining applications in perpetuity has always been a struggle, and now it is nearly impossible to find COBOL programmers to support legacy environments.
Process Changes Required
In addition to the mindset change, your company will need to make process changes. First and foremost, you will need to ensure a consistent way that code is developed. You need to ensure that your internal teams, vendors and the gig platform develop against that standard.
Mike Morris, CEO of Topcoder, explained how his company worked with a customer in the healthcare industry to address this issue of consistency in the way the various organizations developed code. They set up the company’s CICD processes, its DevOps processes and tools.
“We set up the processes with existing internal mechanisms so that when work comes in, it always comes in the same way, regardless of whether it goes to the Topcoder platform or to the company’s internal staff or to a vendor,” says Morris.
If your company goes the gig platform route, you will need to consider such issues as the following factors that affect processes:
· How will we transfer code from the gig platform into more traditional vehicles and then transfer them back again?
· How will we ensure the various environments are secure?
· How will we ensure data privacy across all jurisdictions?
· How will we connect the gig platform into our agile planning and backlog vehicles?
Governance Changes Required
It is likely that your company will need to change its management philosophy and management tools to work with the gig platform at scale. How will you match the platform with your company’s existing tools?
You will also need to consider the overall architecture of the gig platform. Where should the gig platform architecture reside? Should your company own it, or should the third-party provider own it? And, going forward, how will you maintain continuity of the architecture?
Morris points out that many companies fear not having control over the gig workers. Where is the worker and what is the person working? Is the worker a bad actor? He says some of that fear is going away in the current reality of everybody working remote during the COVID-19 crisis, but it still exists when considering shifting to a gig platform.
Morris explains that Topcoder’s technology – especially artificial intelligence – addresses this problem. “Data drives our platform, and we know more about who is on the other end of the ethernet cable than a person badged in a 1,000-person organization. We track their behavior, when they work, when they submit things, when they fix bugs, when they start and finish a project and their security credentials.”
New Metrics Required
Companies incorporating a gig platform into their IT talent pool also need to develop new metrics. Today’s businesses are in a data-driven world, not a service-levels world. The new talent model will drive increased productivity; so, your company needs to develop new metrics focusing on three dimensions:
· Error rate
· Alignment with the business (is IT doing the right work, or is it doing work that does not add business value?)
Using these three measurements together, your company can quantify its level of productivity with the gig platform incorporated into IT.
Winning Firms Use Crises For Opportunities
In a recent blog, I compared businesses enduring the COVID-19 crisis to racecar drivers that speed up and to “drift” a curve and win the race. Your company can accelerate its path to post-crisis opportunities if you take steps now to put the enabling infrastructure in place. The cloud and automation are two infrastructure components. Another is a gig platform for IT skills.
Yes, moving rapidly to incorporate a gig platform requires organizational mindset, process, governance and metrics changes. But I think the gig platform adoption is super exciting, as it provides a real option to dramatically improve the performance of IT in its ability to align with business goals, increase agility and maintain application estates in perpetuity.
Meghan and Harry are moving closer to their goal of financial independence, with the Duchess of Sussex set to take the stage for her first public speaking job since leaving the Royal Family.
Meghan is appearing as the special guest speaker at a summit for the Girl Up campaign alongside an impressive lineup of famous faces, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Watch the video above
Girl Up has a presence in 120 countries and works to “empower women and inspire them to get involved in social change.”
“The present is female! But don’t take our word for it. Hear Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex’s advice for global girls leaders when she takes the stage at the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit, happening virtually July 13-15!” read a tweet by the organisation.
Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter told Sunrise the event was “significant” as it is “setting the stage for the type of work Meghan is going to want to do moving forwards.”
“This is an opportunity to launch herself as a philanthropist and as an authority on this topic on this side of the atlantic,” she said.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more of this going forwards.”
It’s unknown whether the Duchess is being paid for the appearance, with rumours she is waiving a paycheck and using the gig as a platform to promote herself for a spot in the elite speakers stable.
Arbiter says Los Angeles based Harry and Meghan are in hot demand in the United States and could rake in mouth-watering amounts of cash.
“Let’s take an event in the future in which she could be paid… a number of experts in the field have said that individually Harry or Meghan could command upwards of $500,000 for an appearance,” Arbiter said.
“If they appear at something together, they could be looking at $1,000,000.”
“If Harry and Meghan want to maintain their lifestyle then they’re going to need to make some significant money moving forwards, and public speaking is the most lucrative way to do that.”
The frenzied NFL TV free-agency market continues to move as Fox Sports has signed All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen to be its future No. 2 NFL game analyst, The Post has learned.
The contract will make Olsen the partner for Kevin Burkhardt after Olsen retires from the NFL. Olsen, 35, was going to leave the game for Fox after last season, but a $7 million contract and a chance to play with Russell Wilson made him change his mind to go to Seattle.
Even after Olsen inked his deal with the Seahawks, Fox Sports executives continued to make a run at him for this season, but will have to settle for after he plays his final game.
If Olsen were to decide to continue playing after this year, Fox would wait for him, according to sources.
The move to think ahead is similar to what NBC has done with Drew Brees. The Post previously reported that Brees has a deal with the network after his retirement from the Saints to call Notre Dame games and work NBC’s Sunday night NFL studio show with the chance to one day succeed Cris Collinsworth in the booth.
In other big moves this offseason, Tony Romo re-signed with CBS for 10 years and $180 million in total value, while Fox’s former No. 2, Charles Davis, jumped to CBS to team with Ian Eagle on that network’s second game of each week. Davis replaced Dan Fouts, whom CBS chose not to re-sign.
For this year, the gap year between Davis’ departure and Olsen’s potential start, Fox has tapped Daryl (Moose) Johnston, a former No. 2 with the network, to be Burkhardt’s partner on its second game. Fox does have an extra playoff game this year. Johnston has been informed that Olsen is in the on-deck circle.
Johnston has been with the network since 2001. Last year, he worked with Chris Myers. Among others, Fox considered moving Brock Huard from the college game into the No. 2 slot, according to sources.
While Fox and NBC have made future plans, ESPN remains unsettled on what it will do for this year for its Monday Night booth as it waits to see if college football is played or not.
If there is no college football this fall, then the network would likely shift its National Championship-calling duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit to the NFL for this year.
If there are college games, then Herbstreit could be the analyst for ESPN’s top college game on Saturdays and the NFL on Mondays. This is not a done deal and ESPN is considering Louis Riddick, Brian Griese and Dan Orlovsky, as well.
Steve Levy is the leading candidate to be the play-by-player on “Monday Night Football” if Fowler is occupied with the college game.
All of the broadcasting moves have been made this year as the networks ramp up for the forthcoming negotiations with the NFL for the next TV rights. ESPN/Disney/ABC had its eyes on Romo to help gain traction for a Super Bowl run. It also tried to sign Brees before he opted for NBC.
Now, Olsen is off the board. He was impressive last year doing a Giants game. He also did his homework while teaming with Burkhardt on the XFL.
He will start out behind Troy Aikman on Fox’s depth chart. Aikman currently is the lead game analyst on Sundays and Thursday nights.
Olsen makes Fox more contemporary, which is important to NFL executives. He has shown he has potential to be very good.
Clicker Books: Papa Clicker weighs in on longtime Mets media relations whiz Jay Horwitz’s book, “Mr. Met: How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers.” While Horwitz has done his PR thing, gaining a lot of publicity for his book, the Papa Clicker seal of approval is very important. Papa Clicker recommends it for Mets fans who want a trip through memory lane of Horowitz’s dream job. The book receives 4 out of 5 clickers.