How ISVs Can Cope with the Labor Shortage

Use technology strategically and to your advantage to attract, support, and retain employees.


Technology can cover some of the tasks at your ISV business – and even provide you with an advantage when it’s people you need. Mike Chirokas, product marketing manager, Netlify, points out that technology can fill gaps when the task is repeatable and farther away from the core value proposition of your business. “But companies will continue to fill gaps with talent when the gaps are specific to positions that serve to differentiate the business,” he says.

Chirokas says, for example, web development where a company’s product or its storefront is available via the web. “In this case, web developers should be freed to focus on delivering the most differentiated web experience and not managing the underlying infrastructure and workflow,” he comments.

One large Software as a Service (SaaS) organization was considering hiring a full-time DevOps employee to manage a complex pipeline for getting their large marketing site from code to deployed across a global CDN. Chirokas explains, “They realized they could use technology to automate the process instead of hiring a full-time DevOps employee because the management of a complex deploy pipeline is not core to a differentiated customer experience. With technology automating complex web development steps, developers and DevOps teams are more enabled to focus on differentiated experiences.”

“With the demand and move to customer interactions predominately online, I’d argue that every industry should be considering technology that helps to enable their teams to build exceptional customer experiences on the web,” Chirokas says. “It is also a matter of leveraging technology to help your teams gain efficiencies while working with the tools they know and love. With modern web architecture, teams can separate the frontend web experience from the backend business logic, giving businesses even more options to better allocate development resources.”

Technology that Draws the Right People to Your Business

Optimizing the tech stack that your business uses can also help attract top talent to fill open positions at your company. “Typically, employees want to work on the tools they already know but also have the freedom to learn and use the latest tools and technology,” Chirokas points out. “This is especially true in the web development space, where the ecosystem of tools is rapidly evolving, and developers need to show that they’re staying current.”

Technology can also help expand the talent pool you can draw from. For example, tools are available that can enable developers with minimal development expertise to contribute more to your team and help move projects forward.

Chirokas comments that the right technology can also help retain employees. “Developers are a unique breed because they go home and continue to develop software for fun at the end of the day,” he says. “But when they get to work, we frequently hear developers tell us, ‘I want to get to the fun stuff.’ But they are confined by work that either doesn’t add value to the end customer, like being stuck SSH’d into a VPS somewhere resizing the root volume or using tools that don’t feel natural, like copying and pasting code into a low-code web interface.”

He says the “fun stuff” is the high-value code that delivers performance results such as a faster site or app, a site that converts visitors better or improves the customer experience of their sites or apps.

“If you want to retain developers, give them a similar or better developer experience than when they go home to tinker. By taking those tools into the enterprise, you can improve the work-life of your developers and expect to retain them longer,” Chirokas says.

Look at the tooling software developers use when they go home,” he suggests. “Not every tool a developer uses at home is enterprise-ready, but they’re giving us hints about what they like. When you have a picture of what this looks like, figure out how the software you develop works with their ideal flow.”

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.

Zebra Workstation Connect
Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.