Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:03

Survey hints that 457 move may be premature

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An IT trends survey released by SolarWinds in March will give supporters of the move to get rid of 457 temporary work visas little comfort.

The report, titled "Portrait of a hybrid IT organisation" and released at the end of March, found that Australian IT organisations were facing a skills gap brought on by the fact that most are now operating in a hybrid environment.

And, more pertinently, it found that nearly half of those surveyed did not believe that those entering the IT workforce now were equipped with the skills that were needed to manage these environments.

The regions studied in 2017 were North America, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with 868 respondents in total. SolarWinds is a provider of IT management software.

(As iTWire is an Australian publication, the figures in this article relate only to Australia.)

The move to get rid of 457 visas, announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday, was said to have been driven by the desire to have an "Australian first" policy as far as jobs go.

But new hires are unlikely to have the skills that 457 IT workers bring, if the SolarWinds study is any indication.

The government move also puts the onus on businesses to provide funds to train Australians in the skills needed to fill posts that would otherwise go to 457 visa holders.

Another relevant statistic that the SolarWinds survey came up with was that 59% of those interviewed also agreed that an IT skills gap was one of the five biggest challenges of managing cloud and hybrid IT.

A majority (61%) of IT professionals indicated that hybrid IT had made it necessary for them to acquire new skills, though not their career paths, while 12% said it had altered their career path.

In the past 12 months, individuals from the organisations that were surveyed said they had migrated applications (71%), storage (45%), and databases (34%) to the cloud more than any
other area of IT.

About 49% also reported their organisations have either hired or reassigned IT personnel for the specific purpose of managing increasingly complex hybrid IT environments, or had plans to do so.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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