Our latest market update comes immediately after what has turned out to be the busiest month of 2020 so far, with November possibly showing that this bizarre year is finally taking a turn for the better. Tech has taken centre stage all year for organisations across every sector, as the vast majority of employees moved to a remote working model. This fundamental change, particularly for those that hadn’t already invested in the relevant technology, was a challenge for many companies, and spiked demand in IT talent across the board. The pandemic might hopefully be coming to an end, but we can’t say the same for working from home (WFH).
Although it may have started as a reluctant obligation for many, most businesses have now seen several advantages to their employees working remotely, from cost savings to productivity, so “location flexible” roles are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future. The challenge for employers has been how to provide a seamless experience and continued communication for employees, while maintaining a culture of collaboration and ensuring compliance, security and accessibility. To address this, many clients have had to expand their tech capabilities in-house, as well as invest in external platforms and support.
Even before COVID, migration away from Sydney and Melbourne to more rural areas had been a trend for a couple of years, but the move to WFH has accelerated this movement, with location no longer a barrier for many roles. This talent isn’t going to be in a hurry to come back to the cities, underlining that WFH is here to stay. Gartner supports this in its recent 2021 tech predictions, suggesting that an “anywhere operations” model, where physical location is irrelevant, will be vital for businesses and that a digital-first template will become the default.
It’s perhaps no surprise therefore that we have seen increased demand this year for IT professionals with cloud tech experience, given the pivot to a digital model for businesses. Cloud integration addresses almost all of the challenges that remote working creates, as well as providing opportunities for onboarding new clients or employees; remote training via digital courses; as well as live chat and collaboration in the absence of an office environment.
Cloud skills tend to align with the main vendors, such as AWS, Azure and GCP and candidates with experience are much sought after. It’s an evolving space of course, with many players trying to enter the market and provide multi-cloud services, so those tech professionals with wide-ranging experience of more than one platform could be in prime position. There is also the “distributed cloud” to consider, a fairly recent progression of cloud tech that reduces data costs and addresses low-latency issues, and skills in this area could be a distinct advantage for candidates should be take off.