CEO of HBC
I've heard that in the past decade many people in Hong Kong chose not to study IT as they were worried after the dotcom busts. And now there is a shortage of talent. Is it too late to get into the sector? If so, how do you suggest I go about it? What do you recommend I study and where should I focus? It's a fast moving sector and I don't want to go study and come out with something that's not on trend.
Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor
Posted Saturday 12th October 2013 06:23:00 AM
Dear Nick, It is not too late to enter the technology field. In general, there is a shortage of talent wherever there is business growth. IT has always been an enabler helping organizations adapt for change. How you manage IT often spells out the difference between success and failure. Like other support functions such as HR, finance, legal and marketing, IT professionals often fall behind on what the customers need. To make matters worse, the customers whom they serve do not fully understand the technology, while IT people do not understand the business. Hence, the gap is widening, causing frustration, waste and rework. It is estimated that more than 60% of companies are in process of transforming their IT departments with the goal of reducing cost, improving delivery effectiveness and gaining competitive advantage. The trends are digital commerce and outsourcing, including the formation of digital and outsourcing strategies, the execution of these strategies, data analytics, mobile application development, search engine optimization, social commerce, etc. The list is endless, and offers an exciting field for IT professionals to work closely with legal, marketing, HR and finance. The future for IT professionals is promising. The best and most in-demand professionals must have the following competencies: they must understand business strategy and know how to articulate and execute it using new knowledge and skills in technology that are agile, user-controlled and business-rule driven. Most companies will consider outsourcing their IT infrastructures/help desk, and expect their in-house technology team to focus more on strategic issues. They also must acquire supreme people and communication skills, as they need to work across various functions. Project management skills are critical to understanding scope, deliverables, timelines, vendor management, contract negotiation, etc. Lastly, they must also understand customers’ buying behaviors and how technology can enhance overall customer experience. All of the above skills can be acquired through on-the-job and classroom learning. With these competencies mastered you will find a career that is much in demand, and providing you enjoy the challenges, it will bring you a lot of satisfaction and financial rewards. And of course, continuous learning is very much part of the everyday job in the fast-moving world in which we live. I wish you all the best in finding a career that you truly love.