Where did everyone go? How to cope with the IT skills shortage

Posted on May 09, 2018

Where Go 2

Australian businesses are thriving on digitisation. Research in 2017 showed the digital economy had created 40,000 new jobs across Australia in the previous two years and was set to be worth $139 billion a year by 2020.

This would grow the information and communications technology share of gross domestic product from 5.1 percent to 7 percent by 2020. But the road to digital riches is not without risk.

In particular, as demand for skilled IT professionals grows by two percent a year there is a very real prospect of companies being denied the rewards of digital technology because of a gap in skills.

According to the Australian Computer Society, Australia will need an extra 81,000 IT specialists by 2022, with project managers, analysts, and business development managers in particularly short supply.

And at present, there are no more than around 4,000 graduates coming into the sector each year.

Skills shortage

The Australian IT skills shortage reflects a similar problem at a global level, with nations such as the UK and US also feeling the pinch when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent.

It doesn’t help that some of the companies in the sector are among the most sought-after employers on the planet. When you are competing with Apple or Google for talent, what chance do you have?

From a policy perspective, the situation demands a range of measures, from encouraging more women into IT to making sure technology experts are not shut out under recent changes to the Australian visa system.

What can business leaders do, though? Apart from setting aside increasingly large sums of money to attract, retain, and train in-house IT expertise, is there anything you can do to avert the skills shortage?

There is, in fact, and it’s quite simple: if you can’t get hold of resources of your own, use someone else’s.

IT workforces

At Vocus, for example, we can offer you not only the support of one of the most advanced IT workforces in the country, but also a range of services that can help you along your digital journey without having to worry about paying for in-house expertise.

Take security, for instance. This is an absolutely fundamental part of any IT infrastructure, but that doesn’t mean you need an extensive in-house team to manage it.

Instead, you can deploy as-a-service offerings for business resilience services such as firewalls and backup, and benefit from continuously updated infrastructure as well as lower costs and a much reduced draw on in-house resources.

Similarly, getting your service provider to look over your network can help uncover ways of running your infrastructure in a more efficient, cost-effective way that avoids the need for a big in-house networking department.

In many cases, you may find there are services and applications that you can run over the cloud, further mitigating the impact of skills shortages while enhancing your bottom line and your business agility.

Helping business

Far from being aloof to your challenges, carriers such as Vocus are dedicated to helping your business succeed. And often there is more we can do to help than meets the eye. Our engineers solve complex customer problems every day.

Only a fraction of this work makes its way onto press and social media headlines, so when you talk to your carrier you are tapping into a vast pool of largely hidden expertise.

This expertise is greater than any you could probably afford to have in house. Plus, you don’t have to worry about keeping our experts happy and skilled in the latest technology developments.

So, don’t be worried about setting off in search of digital treasures. Vocus has the expertise to help you embark on this journey today. To learn more, call 1800 031 009.

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