Plugging the digital skills gaps in Australian businesses
August 16, 2022 |
8 min read
The Australian Government’s target for Australia to be a top 10 digital economy and society by 2030 would probably be a cornerstone policy for any administration holding power right now.
Indeed, we’ve been part of it through training provided to the government’s Digital Transformation Agency, whose purpose is driving “digital transformation that delivers benefits to all Australians”.
And the results of this are reflected in the way digital services are now being consumed in the country, such as people accessing medical records online. The digital economy is also speeding up innovation, with new things being brought to market more quickly.
Developing a deeper range of digital skills
Part of Australia’s digital economy strategy focuses on “skills and inclusion”.
As the only multi-cloud training provider in ANZ, offering authorized AWS, Google and Microsoft training and the largest provider of Microsoft technical training and delivery of ITIL courses in the country, we’ve seen the growth in demand for these skills in business. But we’ve seen it also among job changers, people leaving university and others who want to both thrive and arrive in the digital economy.
Going back 10 years, the job description for any role was much less granular than it is today. It used to say something like “Server 2012 skills”, but the move to digital skills has forced organizations to define roles more closely and outline jobs that didn’t exist previously, such as cyber security and digital marketing. But you can only do that if you know what you are trying to achieve
The type of training we’ve provided over the past four years has been a great barometer for the changes happening in IT: There is a very clear movement among corporates from needing skills for managing on-premise IT to those needed for cloud-based services.
So, what are the evolving demands for skills today?
While enterprise organizations have some digital maturity, it’s the small and medium-sized business market that needs to understand what digital transformation is and understand how to get tangible value from it.
For example, our course in managing vendor relationships is a departure from the skills IT people needed when they used to buy and run servers. Now, they’re negotiating terms and agreements with different cloud providers to enable the right workload on the right platform at the right time, at the right price.
This means IT managers need a deeper range of skills, covering both technical and relationship management aspects, plus elements such as cyber security. The training and development they receive needs to create multi-faceted people who can deliver more value.
The role of ITIL 4
In recent years, ITIL has grown up as an IT service management framework which is now relevant to running cloud-based services.
This coincides with the fact that service delivery is more important than ever and where organizations need to align IT services with overall business strategy with policies and processes “baked in”.
In that context, studying and certifying in ITIL 4 Foundation helps remove a lot of risk and ensures people are adopting best practices. However, I think that hiring and learning and development managers need to understand more about the value in the advanced ITIL 4 modules, such as ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy. Knowledge like this provides a framework that companies implementing innovation can plug into and circumnavigate the risks that transformation brings.
Taking stock and taking steps with digital skills development
The Australian Government has recognized that, without the necessary skills, it becomes very difficult to achieve anything in the digital economy.
This is why it’s currently investing in skills development for the country and with the associated tax benefits for businesses that get involved.
In turn, we are currently mapping ITIL 4 skills to SFIA, the global skills and competency framework for the digital world, which is now adopted by the Australian Public Service Commission for capability development and career pathways.
Therefore, Australian businesses should now be taking stock of what they’re doing from a skills perspective, match it to their long-term business strategy and plug their skills gaps to remove risk and remain competitive.