Digital economy changing technology spending and jobs focus

Much of the focus of technological change may appear to lie in the US and Asia, but it's rapidly impacting organisations in Australia and New Zealand. 

The move to digital business is a substantial one, and will continue to have resounding effects throughout organisations across the globe.

We've already taken a look at the skills necessary for digital business success, but what are some of the other effects of this tectonic IT shift?

If there's one thing that's a certainty with IT development, it's the need for effective IT governance and change management.

This article will take a look at how the shift to digital business is impacting technology spending, and what's happening to the job market.

A shift in technology spending

Digital business is causing a massive change in spending, with expenditure on technology products and services predicted to reach to nearly AU$78.7 billion in Australia in 2015. Gartner outlined this spending growth in a recent report exploring digital business.

It's not just Australia set to experience this shift, with New Zealand also about to see spending reach nearly NZ$11.6 billion. Across the globe, spending will reach US$3.9 trillion by the end of next year.

Gartner claims that the majority of this spending is stemming from a rush to transition into digital business.

At a Gartner Symposium in November, Peter Sondergaard, a senior vice president at Gartner, explained the shift in IT spending. He also detailed exactly what organisations need to do in order to effectively handle the change.

"Digital startups sit inside your own organisation, in your marketing department, in HR, in logistics and in sales. Your business units are acting as technology startups."

"Australia and New Zealand are increasingly known for creative and design expertise, with leading global vendors looking here to make acquisitions."

He finished by explaining that other businesses need to tap into this "digital startup" way of thinking, and use it as a competitive advantage.

How is digital business changing jobs?

Any substantial shift in an industry is certainly going to impact the jobs market, and this can clearly be seen in the digital transition.

Gartner explained that by 2018, digital businesses will acquire 50 per cent fewer process workers. Digital jobs, on the other hand, are set to see a 500 per cent boost as a result of digital business demand.

It's going to be important for organisations to be acutely aware of such massive changes. What's more, jobs are further set to see changes over the next few years.

Current favourable skills: Right now, mobile, user experience and data sciences were noted as the key skills to have, and the ones that CIOs were needing to hire or outsource for.

Skills in three years: In three years time, this will transition to smart machines, robotics and automated judgement. Such a shift highlights the growing role of robotics across a number of fields.

In seven years: Following this transition, Gartner predicts a surge in the number of specialised digital jobs, which include integration specialists, regulatory analysts and risk professionals.

Preparing for change

These digital business transitions may appear daunting, but it's important for organisations to focus on the near future in order to remain ahead of curve.

"You must build talent for the digital organisation of 2020 now. Not just the digital technology organisation, but the whole enterprise," Mr Sondergaard said.

Neglecting to prepare for change could mean companies are left playing catch-up over the next few years – something which needs to be avoided.

Capable project management practices could prove essential here, especially given the adaptability to a number of organisations. Using PRINCE2, a project management methodology, is likely to be one of the most effective steps.

Get in touch with ALC Training today, a provider of PRINCE2 and other leading frameworks, to find out more.