The Fall 2023 State of the Contingent Specialized IT Labor Market—Increased Investment Means Increased Competition for Expertise

Brian Trout, Executive Vice President, Sales, Baer
Brian Trout
Executive Vice President, Sales
18 August 2023

Earlier this year, I wrote about two emerging trends in the contingent specialized IT labor market: how economic uncertainty was slowing the pace of investment in technology transformation initiatives and how an unprecedented situation was unfolding that would put the commercial market and public sector in competition with each other for talent when the floodgates finally opened. The good news is that as we head into fall, we are seeing signs that technology investment is ramping back up. However, this is setting up the very situation I had anticipated: these investment delays mean that the commercial market, which typically invests earlier than the public sector, will instead be investing in parallel.

Key Indicators that Investment is Ramping Up

In the first two quarters of 2023, we saw boards asking CIOs to press pause on OpEx spending for projects like incremental enhancements to their SAP architecture. Economic indicators were pointing toward a recession, and companies were holding back in case they needed to recast their 2023 budgets. However, now that we are well past the halfway point of the year, we are seeing more enterprises freeing up discretionary spending allocations for smaller, shorter-term maintenance and optimization and enhancements to their existing ERP architecture. This is manifesting at Baer as increased requests for contingent labor with SAP ERP experience.

We are also seeing signs that enterprises are formulating plans to release funding for CapEx initiatives like S/4HANA transformations. This is manifesting as an increased number of formal RFPs being circulated as well as an increased number of exploratory conversations around how to staff those initiatives. In the case of RFPs, this is a good indicator that boards have accepted the necessity of transformation strategy, and while they may not have released funds, are likely to do so in early 2024. Importantly, this movement is not limited to the commercial market—the public sector is just as actively engaged, and that is going to result in an unprecedented level of competition for critical, specialized expertise.

How and Enterprise Performance Partner Can Provide a Competitive Advantage

This is where an enterprise performance partner like Baer can make a critical difference in an organization’s ability to find the right expertise at the right time, for the appropriate investment, especially if you are sourcing directly rather than through a systems integrator. Traditional IT staffing companies are focused on broader skillsets, not specialized expertise. While they can identify a broad field of talent, that talent may or may not have the precise skills you are looking for. It may seem convenient to get a long list of potential candidates, but the burden is on you to determine if they are even close to being qualified, which makes for a lengthy and burdensome interview cycle.

Whereas, with an enterprise resources partner like Baer that has a deep understanding of technology and knows how it has advanced over time, you can have much more strategic and detailed conversations about precisely what you are looking for. Using specific details about your initiative as our guide, we can ask the right questions, more thoroughly and deeply evaluate expertise, and identify candidates with precision—many of whom we have worked with previously—making for a faster and more efficient selection process. With an enterprise resource partner like Baer, you are getting a long-term, collaborative partner with a vested interest in the outcome of your initiative.

About Baer

Unlike typical technology staffing companies, Baer is a true enterprise performance partner. We have a deep understanding of the scope of enterprise technology transformation initiatives and the highly specialized skillsets you will need at different stages of the process.

To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your enterprise transformation, please reach out to, Executive Vice President, Sales, or John Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, at

We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your specific challenges.

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