Digital Directions: The IT Crowd
These organizational success factors are not directly financial. True, good technologists can command relatively high salaries, especially within the context of the publishing industry, and they are often worth it. However, cash does not supersede all other factors. A positive environment to learn and create, in which they feel valued and have a voice is often paramount.
Some publishing organizations may find they do not have the financial latitude or strategic focus to provide an optimal environment for software developers, either because they lack the scale or the amount of development to warrant providing an environment as described here. Some of these organizations may begin by bringing in a few development resources into an environment that is less than optimal, with the hope of creating a more optimal environment in the future. The danger here is that top talent will not join an environment that is not structured appropriately for the developer. In some cases, it may be better to gain access to top talent—and the business value that is created by them—through partnering with an external organization to create innovative technology solutions.
It must be pointed out, however, that just as in the case of your own staff, there are some principles and best practices to getting the most value out external technology talent. But that will have to wait until the next column. x
Andrew Brenneman is founder of Finitiv, which provides publishers with cloud-based services, mobile product development and digital strategy consulting.