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Doing Your Sums on . . . Build, Buy or Rent

Doing Your Sums on . . . Build, Buy or Rent

You’re trying to build a world-class IT team, but everyone’s going after the same talent pool. What mix works best? Should you grow your own, draft your players or barter your way to the line-up you want to field?

CIOs should never forget that while new technologies have a maturity cycle, the maturity cycle for human beings in IT is even longer

Even with the global war for talent continuing to escalate and with no sign of hostilities easing any time soon, software giant SAS Institute is determined to do as much as it conceivably can internally.

CIOs should never forget that while new technologies have a maturity cycle, the maturity cycle for human beings in IT is even longer

While other organizations struggle with decisions over whether to build, buy or rent talent, SAS - recognized in both the US and Europe as one of the 10 best places to work - lives by the words of founder and CEO Dr Jim Goodnight: "If you treat employees as if they make a difference to the company, they will make a difference to the company." That attitude even extends to the people who do the landscaping and housekeeping.

SAS CIO Suzanne Gordon says even the IT group, which does occasionally hire consultants on a special needs basis, never resorts to outsourcing. And those consultants it does bring in are almost always project managers, and when they work out, SAS does everything it can to put them on staff. "The reason we do that is because we have found over the years that you really don't know if you've got a good project manager until they've managed a project," Gordon says. "So we hire through a contracting firm and then if they work out we like to keep them . . . and if they don't we've only wasted a little bit of time. When we have a good contractor start, we treat them pretty much like a regular employee."

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