Why the Technology Business Needs Highly Skilled People
Almost all business owners will tell you that there most valuable asset is their employees. This is especially true in the technology business where the need for highly skilled people is huge. That being said there is a bit of a question about just what constitutes a highly skilled employee. Not all employees need to have the same set of skills.
The obvious reason that the technology business needs highly skilled people is that it is a very specialized field of business. That means that the number of people who are actually able to do most of the work that is required is quite low. It takes a great deal of training for people to develop those skills and without people who have them it is going to be very difficult for you to run your business. The challenge of course is that the number of people who have those skills is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of the technology business.
The big question when it comes to highly skilled workers in the technology business is just what are the skills that are needed. Most people make the assumption that it is simply the technical skills that are needed but this is really not the case. Certainly you need to have people who have the necessary technical skills to get the job done, but it is actually skilled managers who are even more in demand. The highly skilled technical guy who completely lacks people skills still has a place in the industry of course but you need to have people with the necessary skills that manage them.
The other big skill that the technology business needs is people who understand the technology but also have business skills. If you let the guys who are purely technology experts run the business you will find that everything is over budget and takes forever to get done. This is why you need skilled business people to fill the leadership positions. Ideally you would find somebody like Inder Singh over at Cisco who has a good understanding of the technology but also is an expert at the business side of things (and has extensive experience in speaking, teaching and more!). Unfortunately these may be the most difficult of all employees to find.
One of the problems that many technology companies have when it comes to finding skilled employees is that they tend to focus on the wrong skills. In particular there is an overemphasis on technical skills. Certainly the people who are in jobs that are tech heavy need to have these skills but the other employees don't necessarily have to. Many companies will move the tech guys into management for example under the assumption that the guy with the best tech skills will be the best manager. In reality what you need is somebody with management skills, the necessary tech skills can always be learned.