Australia committed to enhance IT sector with increased expenditure in 2017-18

Technology has been the catalyst for growth across the Asia-Pacific region and for us here in Progressive Australia (part of the larger SThree group), we are excited to assist this plan with the region reinstating its commitment to channel its resources into this sector. With the announcement of the Budget, along with the support of Gartner’s analysis of the market, it was projected that a sum of AU$85 billion would be spent on Information Technology (IT) by end 2017. As such, we are excited to be able to support our clients in region to ensure this investment is as cost-effective as possible for them.


This is a 2.7% increase from 2016, with IT services expected to dominate the overall market share. In particular, more than AU$30.6 billion is projected to be spent on IT services alone, and will be potentially increasing to AU$31.3 billion by 2018. The spend on communication services follow closely behind with a forecast to reach AU$29.5 billion in both 2017 and 2018.


The willingness to pump in a greater expenditure within IT suggests greater confidence in the potential growth this industry can achieve by 2018. This is however, going to mean that “people” who are invested into by this market will hold a significant responsibility in ensuring the expenditure equates to results. It is the sustainability of this market on a global scale in the long term that matters to our clients. 


We don’t bare this lightly and are ensuring we are putting the processes in place to provide the right opportunities for both IT professionals on the market and those who trust and rely on our ability to find the right candidate for their needs.


Below are some insights into a couple of markets that we are seeing significant growth with our clientele here in Australia and those we believe will continue to grow at the current trajectory, or accelerate even further.


What sectors are growing in IT?


Software


IT software is predicted to be the fastest growing segment, with AU$11.6 billion to be spent in 2017, and AU$12.9 billion projected for 2018.


Australia is also seeing an influx of Data Centres in its country. Announced in August, Microsoft Azure, announced that the company will be adding two new Azure regions in the country. These two new data centres are expected to become available in the first half of 2018 and will be certified to handle unclassified and protected government data in Australia. This partnership between Microsoft and Canberra Data Centres (CDC) will allow Microsoft to be the only major cloud provider to deliver this level of service to the Australian government.


Among others, Digital Realty - a leading global provider of data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions - announced that it began construction on a new data centre development in Western Sydney.  The new development is expected to create over 500 jobs throughout the construction phase and upon completion. As a result, spending in relation to data centres will spike at AU$2.7 billion this year, before returning to AU$2.6 billion in 2018.


In addition, enterprise software has accumulated $11.4 billion in sales within Australia this year. As Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enterprise applications become increasingly popular, it has also led to an increased acceptance of IT operations management tools delivered via cloud.


Most Australian organizations have invested in digital customer experience (DCX) technologies for a number of years. But this year, they have appeared to shift their focus towards digital operational excellence. Telstra, the largest telecom operator in Australia, has already led the way with its announcement in mid-2016 on its investments worth AU$1 billion through 2019 to accelerate the digitisation of its operations.

 

Cyber security

 

Research from Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) reveals that more than 50% of cyber security professionals reported at least one incident of malware-infected firmware in 2016.

 

This sector is in pressing need for innovation and growth to tackle rising challenges. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for example, announced the availability of its next-generation ProLiant portfolio Gen 10 silicon chip servers in Australia this September. The new portfolio builds on its silicon-based security within HPE’s standard servers and is designed to address the firmware attacks threatening enterprises and governments today. Their new silicon root of trust protection is an encryption alongside breach detection technologies. It is complemented by HPE’s supply chain security, Pointnext security assessment and protection services.

 

HPE is also setting out to create a new hybrid of IT compute experience for its customers with the new ProLiant portfolio along with enhancements to its software-defined infrastructure and flexible payment models.

 

“With our ProLiant Gen 10 portfolio, HPE is offering customers the best compute experience in the industry with unmatched security, new ways to accelerate insights and payment models that allow customers to choose options that work best for them,” comments Paul Haverfield, Chief Technology Officer, Data Centre Hybrid Cloud, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Asia Pacific and Japan.

 


But is Australia equipped for growth?


Despite the government’s efforts in safeguarding Australians in their jobs, it is crucial to equip them with the necessary training and skills to be ready for the evolving IT sector.  We are seeing an increase in the utilisation of our global network here at SThree and Progressive to ensure that we are bringing in the skillsets to support the IT sector and the IT demands of our clients. In addition, we are also looking at how we can ensure that candidates who are already working in the Australian Market can be upskilled to allow job opportunities to be leveraged by candidates based in Australia, and consequently retaining their expertise in region.


Hence, we are coming up with some creative concepts such as knowledge share workshops with candidates on the market that we work with across the globe; supporting in region businesses that are looking to upskill their staff; and how we can ensure that IP isn’t lost post-projects if we want to leverage on our global network.


The good news is through the Skilling Australians Fund, the government will provide ongoing funding to support the training of Australians. An estimated $1.5 billion will be provided to State and Territory governments over the first four years. Spending from the fund will be prioritised towards apprenticeships and traineeships. When complemented with the State and Territory funding, the Skilling Australians Fund will be able to support up to 300,000 apprentices, trainees, pre-apprentices and higher level skilled Australians. Priority will also be given to occupations in high demand especially jobs that currently rely heavily on skilled migration including future growth industries and those within rural and regional areas. Therefore we want to ensure that the Australian market fully have our support in creating awareness of skilled professionals equipped to fill the capability gaps are clients currently have.


This initiative is predicted to equip the nation with the relevant skills, which will in turn support the long-term growth of the IT industry.


Hopefully this insight will be helpful to our network, and give confidence in how we are ensuring that Progressive IT takes into consideration the developments within the IT Sector whilst moving with it. We welcome anyone in our network to reach out to find out more around our business, operations and strategy. Equally, we would love to hear more around potential innovative ideas that our network might have.


If you would however, like to find out more about the current talent within the IT industry or if your organisation has a current need, please kindly connect with the Progressive Recruitment Team at [email protected] me or follow us on our LinkedIn page for other upcoming trends within IT.


Source: Gartner, Budget.gov.au, CRN, Forrester Asia Pacific Tech Market Outlook for 2017 to 2018, PwC.com.au, Data Center Knowledge