The IT Skills Shortage – It’s Back!

By Murray Wills • February 11th, 2010

Here is a very interesting story I have just come across from CIO Magazine’s Ross Storey, MIS Asia, entitled “Historic IT recruitment reversal”

http://cio.co.nz/cio.nsf/depth/DFC18A4D92BDED3ECC2576AF006BF91B

According to the story and recruitment and human resource outsourcing specialists Robert Walters, “the Asia Pacific is currently experiencing what is likely to be the fastest turnaround in the IT recruitment market in history. This is particularly evident in markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, where job opportunities available through Robert Walters in IT have more than doubled in the last six months.”

The article contains a warning to employers that they need to constantly examine compensation models “to make sure they are being calibrated with a fast-moving market in order to stay competitive”.  They also need to prepare for a shortage of talent and examine how they plan to attract and then keep senior people.

In the New Zealand market last year I think we had two issues that affected the roles for IT professionals:

  1. The recession
  2. The change of Government, line by line reviews for government agencies and ,much overdue for some, reorganisation.

Private sector organisations, apart from consultancy companies were of course mainly affected by the recession.

The CIO article makes the point that banks are leading the hiring recovery and that  “the level of hiring going on currently is competitive and bringing up compensation levels quickly, especially at the VP level.”

The Government sector has been slow to recover.  Some government agencies “froze” for some months; not helped, I suspect, by a  lack of direction by central government, and a lack of  IT governance knowledge.  This put, and continues to put, major pressure on the IT industry in Wellington. The issue is when the work to be done is prioritied which companies and contractors will still be around to complete it? 

Already the 2010 year has started off much more boyantly than 2009. It is as if organisations woke up just before Christmas and decided that their legacy systems did still need to be replaced, that they did need to add value to the business through new systems and processes, and that citizens still deserved to see efficencies in government, enabled by IT. In fact this investment will make them more competitive and better able to ride out the turbulent next few years.

I remain optimistic that if the right people engage on government-wide education, and then co-ordination of IT governance then we can meet both government and private sector goals for cost savings and IT enablement at a much quicker pace (see http://www.maxsys.co.nz/?p=517 by what we mean by IT Governance).  Of course, we at Maxsys can help with this.

So where will this lead us skills-wise. Well, I direct you back to the article written in 2005. I believe it still holds true and will do for many years to come.

 

 

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