The Windows NT skills shortage means that staff costs will be between five and 15 per cent higher than for other network operating systems until 2003, which will significantly hamper promised reductions in total cost of ownership (TCO).
However, enterprises that understaff the management of their NT servers by between 20 and 50 per cent will see TCO increase by between 50 and 100 per cent and fail to meet at least 25 per cent of their targets for server availability, according to Michael Silver, senior analyst for Gartner Group at the market research firm's "Windows NT in the Enterprise" conference in Palm Springs this week.
The problem is that once an organisation loses one staff member, others tend to follow, but it costs about $100,000 to replace each one, after paying for head hunters, unscheduled computer downtime and the ramp up time necessary to bring new staff up to speed.
"There is and will continue to be an NT skills shortage, so retention of staff is paramount. NT skills are already diminishing and the situation will get worse with the introduction of Windows 2000. It's a new product so there'll be a temporary decrease in skills until professionals ramp up their knowledge, but things will get worse again until about 2004 as demand to implement the OS outpaces supply," Silver said.
As a result, until 2003, enterprises without an NT skills staff retention programme in place should expect turnover to be at least 10 per cent higher than the IS department's average and at least 20 per cent higher among those employees that obtain NT certification - although such training incentives may be necesssary to keep them happy.
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