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Aust. Business ill Prepared For Digital Age: Global Study

Aust. Business ill Prepared For Digital Age: Global Study

Staff shortages in IT-skilled positions are threatening Australia’s position in global business in the coming era of digital  transformation, according to a new survey by the Brocade group. With the Turnbull Government looking to clamp down on 457 visas for the import of skilled IT workers from overseas nations – including India and the USA – the situation is far from happy for IT-conscious Australian companies looking to break into global business.

Brocade’s research surveyed IT leaders in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Singapore.  While country rankings are not given in Brocade’s media release on the results, it seems that Australia is among the tail-enders in this group of six.

Of the six markets surveyed, Germany was found to be the best prepared to meet its digital transformation goals, closely followed by the US – and the others trailing.

Some 54 per cent of Australian executives agreed that the current political climate Down Under makes it difficult to hire employees with the right skills.

Among the ensuing problems, 60 percent named insufficient budgets as a constraining factor on IT departments’ attempts to develop skills.

Another problem is seen as lack of the right skills for job protection among IT teams.

Boardroom slackness on IT matters was also rated as a problem Down Under, with 59 percent of Australians saying their board did not seem to see new skills acquisition as particularly valuable.

Australia fared especially poorly on matters concerning budget provision for developing IT skills, with 60 percent of Aussie respondents reporting insufficient budget provisions and 50pc reporting insufficient training time – compared with figures of 37pc and 30pc respectively in Germany, judged the leading nation in preparation for  digital transformation.

But Aussie IT leaders are certainly alert to some of the coming transitions. Brocade’s study found, for instance, that artificial intelligence (AI) is viewed as the most critical skill by IT leaders in Australia, with 64 percent claiming that AI will shape the role of the CIO in the next 10 years. (They just need to let the board know).

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