Investment in IT is moving back to the top of the agenda for many Hong Kong companies. They have reached the point in the cycle where, like it or not, they must migrate to new systems, replace older software and prepare for a world of server virtualisation, if they are to remain competitive.
"Right now, it is pretty hot in terms of new projects," says Joseph Yang, director of professional services at Microware, a Hong Kong-based company providing IT solutions for the business sector. "The money is available, which means a lot of opportunities for us to help customers build and manage new infrastructure."
This can involve, he explains, everything from the sourcing of hardware to project management, software implementation and after-sales support. The objective is to offer clients an end-to-end service, which is tailor made for their needs and brings tangible business benefits in terms of efficiency and better returns. Customers range from government departments to small and medium-sized enterprises, and number in the thousands.
"There is no fixed rule for how long a project takes," Yang says. "In some cases, it can be two months. In others, it could last up to two years. Our priority, though, is to strengthen each area of the business and to scale up so we're ready to meet future demand."
To this end, the company is now hiring across the board. The immediate need is to fill 10 to 20 positions, that include roles for salespeople, project managers, consultants and engineers. Further openings will become available over the next few months for candidates of varying levels of experience.
"We can be very flexible," Yang says. "But, at the moment, our desire is to primarily find fresh graduates and people new to the industry. The reservoir of more experienced people is dry right now - it is an industry-wide problem - so it is a good time to switch to IT."
Candidates for sales-related roles are welcome to apply with any kind of degree. What the company looks for is business sense, overall outlook and personality. Recruits can learn all the necessary technical competence from bi-weekly training sessions and on-the-job coaching, and they can rely on back-end support within the 300-strong organisation.
For more technical posts, Yang says that a degree in computer science is an advantage. He notes, though, that IT graduates from local universities are sometimes too focused on programming. They should realise the benefits of combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills, and to use both in business situations.