iStart magazine – IT skills – a chequered landscape | Quarter Four 2014

Published on the 15/12/2014 | Written by Clare Coulson

Over the last several months we’ve been walking a mile in your shoes as we develop our new website. I’m sure we’ve encountered many of the same frustrations as you do in your IT projects… [View emag]





Features: ICT skills shortage (is the region missing out on ICt opportunities), 2022 future world of work (what work world will we live in?), How to transform paper shufflers (how technology is helping HR to add value), Creating beautiful software (how best to design simple-to use-software and websites), The process of processification (why business process mapping can also be about innovation) and IT employment market (insights into ICT salary landscape).

IT success stories by industry: Project based businesses, Medical supplies, Apparel and Medical equipment

Working on the site got me thinking about the combination of the human and IT factors in every IT project and this, in many ways, is the focus of this issue. For example, as the world becomes increasingly digitised and globalised, those regions with strong ICT skills will be the winners. Unfortunately for us, we are experiencing an ICT skills shortage that seems to be worsening. Indeed it was a significant talking point in the recent New Zealand general election, which at least bodes well for the future. I talked to a number of experts to find out what a skills shortage means for our region and what we can do to help assuage it. What surprised me the most was the fact that most parents and teachers do not see IT as a profession to encourage their children to take up as a career, which is strange when you consider how lucrative and stable such a career can be. To confirm this, we took a look at the salaries available in the sector.

Education does not end at school or university, so this issue we asked Donovan Jackson to look at how HR systems can help to manage internal talent, organisational capabilities and ongoing education and certification. You can find out more about how the role of HR is changing.

Happy, constructive employees are key to a successful and profitable business these days. One cause of employee disgruntlement is ineffective systems and processes that cause frustration. If nothing is done about this then staff will leave. Business process management, or BPM, aims to improve processes with employee involvement and often on the fly. It’s even becoming part of the innovation fabric in some companies. Sometimes it’s not the overall process but the clunky software that causes frustrations as one of our contributors points out. Today, however, we are finally seeing the lessons learnt in consumer software apps filter through to business software, as developers focus more on the user interface and overall user experience as well as the underlying processes. Anthony Doesburg took a look at how simplicity is winning the enterprise software battle.

The more I read about it and the more I am involved in IT projects, the more I see the importance of the human element in IT. For example, Jeff Dance, usability expert, explains why certain web designs work better than others, while SimplHealth CEO Jodi Mitchell discusses the merits of having a diverse workforce in IT. In fact, almost everything we have written about in this issue has a strong human element, which goes to show just how far IT has come from its early days of brainiacs in walk shorts, pen protectors and thick-rimmed glasses.

Clare Coulson

IT SKILLS - A CHEQUERED LANDSCAPE (launch the eMagazine here)
iStart Magazine

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