Skills Gap Hits IT Departments

With the baby boomers retiring, who will maintain your legacy systems?

You’ve probably seen the Korn Ferry report that discusses the impending $8.5 trillion talent shortage. The report states that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.

Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in tech.

However, according to Anna Ruby in “How big is the skills gap? 3 statistics you need to know,” it’s not a people gap necessarily, but rather a significant lack of qualified candidates. Ruby says there are plenty of job seekers, however “companies are still struggling to find candidates with the skills they need.”

In IT specifically, the younger generations meant to replace retiring workers have been trained on different systems. Senior staff members have reached retirement age after having worked most of their careers on systems like Db2 and Cognos, while recent graduates with degrees in computer science have learned different environments, such as the Cloud or app development.

Baby boomers blow it up

When baby boomers are retiring in large numbers at the same time, they are taking all their accumulated knowledge of legacy and older systems with them with far fewer people to fill the void.

And with IT budgets being slashed across the board, chances are your company doesn’t have the resources to replace those who have left.

So, who’s going to maintain these legacy systems?

Shortage in expertise

OEMs are not interested in keeping older systems around. It’s in their best interest to push their customers to upgrade, which might not be the best decision for your bottom line, particularly if that mature system still runs well and has many years left in it.

A while ago, IBM made a conscious decision to let people who had previously supported those legacy systems go in favor of new hires who are trained in the newer systems.

Not only do you have a skills gap in your company — IBM does, too.

There is a shortage of technical experts with the skills necessary to maintain legacy software. Stories of slow support response times and the inability to fix certain problems are commonplace among OEM customers. To add insult to injury, vendor subscription and support prices are rising.

Enter third-party support and maintenance

Third-party support and maintenance can fill this skills gap, as well as helping to control costs and avoid adding to your payroll expenses.

You might not be able to hire the new employees you want, but a third-party support and maintenance provider can function as the strategic partner you need to help your systems keep running smoothly, no matter what version.

Third-party support and maintenance also can extend the longevity and lifecycle of your estate, enhance performance and functionality, and protect your service offerings to address possible threats, vulnerabilities, and potential misconfigurations.

And what about all those experts who left?

They’re still around.

With us.

Origina has a team of 600+ independent IBM® software experts, all of whom have a deep knowledge of the products they support — some even wrote the original code!

Each of our global experts has at least 15 years of experience working with their products. On top of concierge service, these experts provide holistic care of your IBM products, including migration advice, custom configurations, and tailored security.

With OEM support models, companies must upgrade end of support versions or pay more in extended support costs. That’s not the case with us. Using third-party support and maintenance allows customers to run whatever version they want for as long as they want to run it.

IT Budget savings

In the 2022 “Market Guide for Independent Third-Party Support for IBM, Oracle, and SAP Software,” Gartner calls third-party support “a quick win,” and points out that using third-party support providers can keep budgets flat by “eliminating ongoing annual maintenance and support increases when organizations are challenged to meet cost-saving goals and initiatives.”

With no forced OEM upgrades, third-party support and maintenance can save companies a significant amount — up to 50% — that can be reallocated back into innovation for your company’s digital transformation.

Skills and employee resources are just as valuable as dollars. If your top IT talent is constantly managing upgrades instead of working on strategic initiatives that further your company’s digital agenda, you’re wasting time and money.

Despite what you’ve heard, you do have a choice when it comes to maintaining your legacy systems. Working with a third-party support and maintenance provider can fill in the knowledge and skills gap while also increasing the life of your mature systems.

Want to learn more?

Connect with Origina today.


Companies that stay locked in vendor contracts often struggle to advance their digital agendas. When megavendors make decisions about product longevity, upgrade frequency, and price changes with no customer input, the customer loses control.

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