How SOW Staffing Can Be the Key to Overcoming the Tech Skills Shortage in Digital Transformation

I have been in this industry for over 17 years and have never been far from a Statement of Work (SOW) or a Digital Transformation. However, I have never seen demand for SOW like we are seeing in 2023. In this blog, I will explain a bit more about SOWs in the context of contingent workers and the current landscape.

As businesses continue to digitise and transform their operations, the demand for skilled IT professionals has skyrocketed. We have written a lot as a business about the tech skills shortage. However, many enterprise companies are struggling to find the talent they need to keep up with their technology needs. In this context, Statement of Work (SOW) staffing can offer an effective solution for companies that are struggling to find the IT skills they need. The skills shortage is a real challenge for so many businesses and is resulting in project failure.

Understanding SOW Staffing

First, let’s take a closer look at what SOW staffing is. An SOW is a detailed document that outlines the scope of work to be performed by a staffing agency or supplier in a contingent worker program. There are two main types of SOWs: Time and Material (T&M) and Outcome-Based (OB). A T&M SOW is a contract type where the client pays for the time and materials used by the vendor or contractor to complete the project. An OB SOW, on the other hand, is a contract type where the vendor or contractor is responsible for delivering a specific outcome or result. This is something we have worked hard to automate at Gigged.AI, and we use the terminology of deliverable-based milestones instead of OB but it is the same thing.

Why SOW Staffing Is the Solution for Tech Skills Shortage

So why should enterprise companies consider SOW staffing as a solution to the tech skills shortage in the UK and US markets? Here are a few key reasons:

Access to specialised skills: With the tech skills shortage, it can be challenging for companies to find the specialised skills they need. SOW staffing can offer a solution by providing access to a wider pool of specialised IT talent. This can help companies fill critical skills gaps and ensure that they have the expertise they need to keep their technology infrastructure up to date.

Flexibility: With an SOW staffing arrangement, companies have the flexibility to adjust the scope of work and the duration of the engagement as needed. This can be particularly useful for companies that are experiencing rapid growth or that are working on projects with shifting priorities.

Cost-effectiveness: SOW staffing can be a cost-effective solution for companies that need IT expertise on a project-by-project basis. With an SOW arrangement, companies only pay for the work that is actually performed, rather than investing in expensive full-time hires.

Regulatory Considerations for SOW Staffing

Another key factor in the UK and US in worker regulation. In the UK, we have IR35, and in the US, there is the 1099 classification. SOW is not the silver bullet, and misclassification is a serious problem. However, true outcome-based SOW should rarely fall foul of misclassification, but this should always be managed properly.

The Current State of the Tech Skills Shortage

Recent statistics show that the tech skills shortage is a real challenge for many companies. In a recent report, 64% of IT leaders surveyed said that they are struggling to find the IT skills they need, and 90% said that the skills shortage has negatively impacted their business. In the US, the unemployment rate for IT workers is currently at a record low of 2.4%, making it even more difficult for companies to find the talent they need.

Embracing SOW Staffing for Success in the Digital Landscape

In this context, SOW staffing can be a valuable tool for enterprise companies that need to fill critical skills gaps quickly and effectively. By providing access to specialised skills, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, SOW staffing can help companies stay competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The Future of SOW Staffing and Digital Transformation

As the demand for IT professionals continues to grow, we can expect that SOW staffing will play an even more significant role in helping businesses adapt to the digital transformation. By embracing SOW staffing as a solution to the tech skills shortage, companies can ensure that they have the talent they need to drive innovation and stay ahead in a fast-paced, technology-driven world.


The tech skills shortage is an ongoing challenge for many businesses, but SOW staffing offers a promising solution. By leveraging the power of SOW staffing arrangements, companies can access specialised IT talent, enjoy increased flexibility, and achieve cost-effectiveness. In a world where digital transformation is rapidly changing the business landscape, SOW staffing can be the key to ensuring that companies have the skilled workforce they need to thrive.

About the Author

Rich Wilson is a former executive at Allegis Group and Gartner. Rich has partnered with many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies to ensure they have access to the right tech talent at the right time on a deliverable basis. Rich is also the Co-Founder and CEO of AI-powered Talent Platform Gigged.AI.