How Gig Economy and Hackathons Upskill IT Department in The New Economy?

September 5, 2019

A report by Open Assembly and TopCoder, on new economy revealed that organizations need to look at how they can adapt some of the business practices of the gig economy to stay ahead of the competition.

Sajeev Nair, head of global ADM group operations at the Zurich Insurance Group, said, “Every company will need to develop a gig economy strategy, just as they’ve had to develop a social media or mobile strategy. Companies that do this now will outpace those that don’t.”

The operation, where contractors are often used to fill the skill shortage in business, seems to work for IT. Certain contractors noted that , “The gig economy does not have to be the full answer to an IT worker’s need for work. But it can be used as more of a lead into slightly longer engagements that are still short but result in a much more varied, and therefore, to some people, much more interesting set of work than standard employment or IT contracting.”

Bola Rotibi, research director, software development, at CCS Insight, quoted, “We’ve been looking at development services as a platform where people can ‘like’ and hire developers. If I want to find someone who can do a particular kind of work – and it’s a standard piece of software development – people can bid for the job.”

Such platforms keep track of how well their community of IT workers performs enabling business users to decide whether the developer is cost-effective and matches the level of quality required.

Rotibi believes that demand for these services may accelerate as a result of tech skills shortages. According to her, such platforms work well when the work needed is very standardized and well-scoped. It also avoids the ambiguity so that one need not open the company so that information flows out.


Resource Management

One of the new companies that are pooling skills in the gig economy is Collab365 with a specialty in Microsoft skills. The posts on Collab365 offer training, project management, scripting, configuration and programming within the boundaries of the Microsoft product portfolio.

Collab365 founder Mark Jones wrote on LinkedIn, “Many businesses are already dipping their toe in the ‘gig economy’ and utilizing online freelance workers. If there’s enough opportunity for the new breed of worker to work as a solopreneur, they will take it, meaning you may miss out on some fantastically skilled workers.”


Pooling Contributors for Better Ideas

The UK based water service company, Yorkshire Water recently sponsored a hackathon where software development teams were invited to participate in a competition focused on ideas for using open data to create a country-wide data dashboard for Yorkshire.

Also, several organizations use hackathons and workshops to gather people from different areas of the business together away from their normal routine jobs, with teams competing for the best ideas. Even in some companies running hack days has become a part of their corporate culture.

According to Mark Ridley, a former CTO of jobs website, who now mentors CTOs, it is central that teams are cross-functional, to serve varied skillset both to the hackathon day and subsequent development of the idea into a complete product.

Be it, external contributors or internal employees, organizations need to learn how to take ideas from such events forward. Both, gig economy leveraged to provide the right skills to meet a specific requirement and hackathons used to generate new ideas, are believed to fill the skill gap in the new economy.


Author: Smriti Srivastava

Smriti SrivastavaSmriti is a Content Analyst at Analytics Insight. She writes Tech/Business articles for Analytics Insight. Her creative work can be confirmed She adores crushing over books, crafts, creative works and people, movies and music from eternity!!