Starting in 2012, approximately 10,000 baby boomers will become eligible to retire every day for the next 15 to 20 years in North America. A lot of those potential retirees are IT people, who have years of both IT and organization-specific knowledge and experience.
The entry-level people coming into the workforce are much more loyal to themselves, what they know, and in some cases, to their peers than to the organization. They arrive with different skill sets and new ways of looking at and using technology.
To address this issue:
To deal with retirements and the possibility that younger workers may stay less time, there are two basic alternatives. One choice is a mentoring program so those people who need to be replaced can share their knowledge with their potential replacement in sufficient time to complete the exchange smoothly before retirement. Another solution is giving newer IT workers projects outside of their comfort zone, training, opportunities to learn something different and so become less vertically focused. As they complete these projects they move to other new areas and projects.
According to Paul Simoneau, a senior instructor and course director with Global Knowledge, the coming year will have 12 main challenges for IT management and staff. Since each organization is unique in how it functions and where it places its priorities, these are offered in no particular order. The issues include new technology, cloud, Big Data, virtualization, BYOD and BYOA, shadow IT, boomers, energy efficiency, user systems, interoperability, creating value, and social networks. After a brief comment on each area, more suggestions for dealing with that situation follow.