November 26, 2000

Welcome to the latest issue of the Enterprise-Wide IT Architecture Newsletter!

Supporting the Enterprise-Wide IT Architecture (EWITA) web site at

This is our fourth bi-monthly newsletter.

We welcome comments on format and content as well as suggestions for articles and sites to be explored. Please let us know by sending us a e-mail at


Table of Contents

  1. Hammering away in the garage
  2. Recruitment and Retention By Steve Rodgers

  3. Site Spotlight - Utah CIO
  4. Vendor Spotlight
  5. There he goes again!
  6. EWITA web site changes
  7. Feedback


Hammering away in the garage

Recruitment and Retention

By Steve Rodgers

The skills crisis

The number of companies trying to recruit experienced IT staff is at an all-time high, there are reports that three quarter of a million unfilled IT job vacancies will exist by the end of the year 2000.

A further, perhaps more important issue, is that IT people can be and are selective about the type of work they do. The best people can easily find more interesting work.

Companies face a double edged sword - to recruit candidates to work legacy projects is extremely difficult and to put valued staff on this non stimulating work will cause more staff erosion.

Dreaded resignations

The current skills crisis has caused a rush in the employment market with skilled people being poached or choosing to change jobs.

The resignation rate of IT staff has reached an all time high. This trend is set to accelerate as more companies suffer erosion while business demands continue to escalate.

The real issue of retention can only be achieved by forward planning, making sure staff recognize they are valued and that their individual development needs are addressed.

Retain valuable skilled staff

In this buoyant job market skilled staff need to be retained and there are several ways of ensuring this. Salary, bonuses and perks although significant are not the overriding factors that keep employees from scouring the job ads. It is much better to create an environment in which people are happy to stay.

To achieve this, understanding what motivates staff is the key. This can be accomplished in both a formal (regular appraisals) and informal way. Balances should be reached between the goals of the individual and the needs of the business. For example staff should be given a mix of interesting work alongside the dull.

Training and reskilling inspire loyalty, but for many companies this is a huge bone of contention. Training is seen as expensive and a way of making their employees attractive to others. The risks involved, when weighed against the benefits, often mean that retraining is overlooked in favor of recruiting externally. However, the recruitment costs of staff time before and after the hire and direct expenses, compare favorably against staff development costs.

A mixed approach of valuing staff by developing skills, providing interesting/motivating work while recognizing their individual contribution, along side benefits and perks, will mean that employees donít want to leave the employer.

Retention bonuses - do they work?

Increasing numbers of organizations are considering retention bonuses to head off potential resignations or to encourage people to delay their decision to leave.

Bonus retention schemes are normally based on an increasing percentage of the basic salary and have followed the pattern below (for Y2K work):

However, if these bonuses do defer resignation, predatory employers can still buy staff and resentment is caused among those ineligible who assume that they are not as important.

Organizations are beginning to realize that tailored measures not dominated by loyalty bonuses, is key to having a sustained impact on staff erosion. To retain IT staff a package that satisfies financial, intellectual and the career aspirations of individuals is required.

Retention suggestions


Retaining, Retraining, and Recruiting Information Technology Staff

Technical organizations depend on effective use of information technology for day to day operations and administration. With high demand for technology professionals, it is critical that we continue to recruit, retain, and retrain competent staff to support IT on campus. Recruiting challenges include reduced numbers of graduates in computer-related fields, lack of competitive salaries, and increasing market demand for information technology skills.

The continuing explosion of technological change also forces existing staff to continually upgrade their technical skills. As the demand for information technology professionals continues to exceed the supply, the organization will face even greater retention staffing challenges. And as we continue to restructure our IT organizations to meet increasing and changing support demands, we will need to work with Human Resources departments to redefine jobs and salary ranges.

The Web links listed below represent a set of resources you may find helpful as you address IT staffing.

Web Sites with IT Staffing Resources

CIO Magazine's IS Staffing Resource Center
CIO Magazine's IS Staffing Resource Center provides links to job sites--where CIOs can post openings and search résumés--as well as surveys, articles on retention and recruiting strategies, and upcoming conferences of interest

High Tech Workforce Resource Center
The High Tech Workforce Resource Center of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) provides information on initiatives to deal with the shortage of IT workers

Articles and Reports on General IT Staffing Issues

America's New Deficit: The Shortage of Information Technology Workers
An Acrobat file of America's New Deficit: The Shortage of Information Technology Workers, published by the U. S. Department of Commerce

CIO Magazine's January 1, 1998 issue
CIO Magazine's January 1, 1998 issue, which was devoted to IS staffing issues

The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States
A new report on the IT worker shortage in the U. S. available on the Computer Research Association's Web site

Syllabus Magazine's April 1999 Issue, Volume 12, No. 8
IT Staffing: Will Higher Education Become a Preferred Destination?

Update to America's New Deficit: The Shortage of Information Technology Workers
This is a January 1998 update to America's New Deficit by the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Job Classifications and Descriptions

Skill Standards for Information Technology
A Web site that describes the book, Building a Foundation for Tomorrow: Skill Standards for Information Technology, developed by the North West Center for Emerging Technologies. An excellent resource that identifies skill standards for information technology career clusters, including database administrator associate, IS operator/analyst, interactive digital media specialist, network specialist, programmer/analyst, software engineer, technical support representative, and technical writer.

Occupational Skills Profile Manual (OSPM)
The Occupational Skills Profile Manual (OSPM), developed by the Software Human Resource Council, is the first Canadian model to lay out national occupational profiles for employment in the software sector. The OSPM is a roadmap of occupational standards. The Job Streams mapped out in the OSPM cover the full cycle of software development and IT infrastructure deployment from business analysis and design, to software development, to network analysis and database administration. This Web site provides more information about the Manual and how to order it.

Reinvesting in the Information Job Family
CAUSE Professional Paper #11, by Anne Woodsworth and Theresa Maylone, Reinvesting in the Information Job Family: Context, Changes, New Jobs, and Models for Evaluation Compensation. The article addresses the issue of classifying personnel in campus computing and library organizations in our new and changing information technology environment.

EDUCAUSE Information Resources Library: Position Descriptions
Lists of position descriptions and related documentation that member campuses have contributed to the EDUCAUSE Information Resources Library.

Salary Surveys

1999 National IT Salary Survey
Articles and results from InformationWeek's 1999 Salary Survey

1998 Mid Year MIS Compensation Study
This study is compiled by Positive Support Review (PSR), a Los Angeles-based management consulting firm that focuses on MIS; this site includes a link to many IS job descriptions, as well.

JobSmart Computer and Engineering Salary Surveys
JobSmart Home, California Job Search Guide, provides links to many Computer & Engineering Salary Surveys

Human Resources Practices

How to Improve Your Hiring Results
Jack Deal of Deal Consulting provides 19 tips for hiring effectively.

Human Resource Management Practices that Make a Difference
This is a slide presentation given at CAUSE97 by Susan Jurow, CUPA Executive Director.

Staff Retention
A "fact sheet" on staff retention developed by Scott Burbank Ltd., a human resources consultancy.

Human Resources Professional Organizations

College and University Personnel Association (CUPA)
The organization is committed to promoting the effective management and development of human resources in higher education. CUPA serves more than 6,500 human resource administrators at nearly 1,700 colleges and universities worldwide, as well as others interested in the advancement of human resources in higher education, including students and human resource service providers.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
The Society for Human Resource Management provides education and information services, conferences and seminars, government and media representation, online services and publications to more than 125,000 professional and student members throughout the world. SHRM has a subgroup that focuses on information technology issues.

EWITA Recruitment and Retention Reading File Other references

Adopted from -



Site Spotlight

State of Utah CIO

This site is interesting to those in the beginning stages of developing an architecture. The site it's self has a lot of Architecture content, but not assembled in a traditional way. They have a secured knowledge library where documents in development are stored as well as what appears to be most in-progress budget work.

One item I find interesting is their ties to commercial sites as information sources such as that within their Data Administration section at I was unable to get these links to work, and that may be dependent on some local process. Beware of following these links as they have a irritating set of popup web pages, but the concept is a good idea.

The Utah Architecture is based on MetaGroup's EAS process and follows their traditional methodology. This seems to be pretty much a standard at the state level.

Specific information that may be of interest is the:

There is a good document on a process they use in Utah called PLANIT (great name) for IT Planning, while the actual data is protected, the processes are available on the site, the user guide is at



Vendor Spotlight

There were no sites suggested this time. Any sites out there that should be checked out, let me know.



There he goes again

New Job

Going from not busy enough to too busy. The new job has taken up most of my free time and as you can see from the newsletter and the additions to the site, little has occurred in the EWITA area.

Feedback from the DCI presentation

I received a very positive feedback from the DCI presentation in New Orleans and was very gratified that my presentation met with such enthusiasm. I really appreciate the feed back! Perhaps if the job allows, I will present again!

 New Assistant Newsletter Editor and Web person

Steve Rodgers (see his resume in the resume area of the site) has agreed to step up and help me with the EWITA. I appreciate his offer and accept it as my time to spend on the site is getting scarce. The article in this issue is from Steve.


Do you have pointers, articles of interest to the EA community, would you like to write an article? If so, please contact me, so we can, together, further the EA Community



EWITA Website Changes

Please go to the EWITA website at and select the "New" icon on the banner, the welcome or the admin page




Clive Finkelstein suggested that I include the table of contents in my transmittal letting people know that the newsletter was available on the site. I agree this is a great idea and have implemented it this issue. Thanks Clive!<top>