Last chance: entries for the 2016 Digital Disruptor Awards close on Thursday, 4 August 2016. An initiative of the ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, the awards recognise digital specialists and businesses transforming the digital economy.
There are 12 different categories, comprising six individual and six team or project awards. These include the ICT Professional of the Year and the Young ICT Professional of the Year (Male Under 30 and Female Under 30).
ACS CEO Andrew Johnson spoke to Dynamic Business about the opportunities and challenges associated with digital disruption, the need to nurture the new wave of talented ICT professionals and the talent shortage in Australia.
“As we navigate our way through the global digital transition and beyond, we need to build a thriving digital economy and workforce that is capable of adapting to change,” he said. “Our digital technologists and innovators are our role models and are paving the way for a smoother transition.
“In order to reap the benefits of a robust digital economy – forecast by Deloitte Access Economics in research commissioned by ACS to grow to $139 billion by 2020 – we need to boost our nation’s digital skills and capabilities and fast, especially if we are to become increasingly globally competitive.
“However, one of the biggest problems we face is the fact that we are suffering from a shortage of skilled ICT specialists, coupled with growing demand for digital skills in both ICT and non-ICT related job roles. For instance, by 2020, Australia will need an additional 100,000 ICT professionals to support Australia’s growing digital economy, yet our ICT workforce is expected to only grow 2% over the same period. At the same time, 2.5million Australians already in non-ICT jobs require ICT skills as part of their role.
“Digital skills are fast becoming a currency as traditional businesses models and economies are disrupted. We need to be equipped with the right tools and expertise to handle the change. As a nation, we need to upskill and reskill.
“The culture of digital disruption in Australia’s ICT sector is also proving to be exciting and challenging. One trend we are seeing is the increasing number of young Australians, including young women, carving out successful careers as entrepreneurs and ICT specialists. The new breed of digital technologists are marrying their creative genius with tech and are transforming what it means to be in ICT. Many of these technologists are joining and leading the startup generation now.”