IT professionals in Australia can expect a promising year in 2024 as their roles continue to evolve due to ongoing transformation in the industry. Certifications and expertise in areas such as security, data analysis, and business analysis will be highly sought after by employers. Additionally, there is a skills shortage, so professionals who invest in developing their skillsets based on current trends will thrive, regardless of the economic conditions.
The IT spending in Australia is projected to surpass $133 billion in 2024, a significant increase of 7.8% from the previous year. This growth will be primarily driven by demand for software, particularly cloud services, which are expected to grow by 12.8%. The shortage of skilled IT professionals will also result in increased spending on IT services, including managed services, which are likely to see an 8.2% rise.
In order to advance their careers, IT professionals should focus on upskilling. Certifications in high-demand areas such as cloud technologies and artificial intelligence will be highly valued by organizations. It is also a good time for IT professionals to explore opportunities in managed services and gain an understanding of different industries’ operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Australian organizations to invest heavily in digital innovation, and these investments are starting to pay off. There is now maturity in areas such as cyber security, cloud platforms, data analytics, and application modernization, leading to advanced technology solutions and new revenue streams. E-commerce, online marketplaces, FinTech, and HealthTech are meeting the needs of digitally-native customers, making Australia the 12th largest e-commerce market globally.
With this digital maturity, organizations and government bodies are keen to launch new digital services. For example, in 2024, the Australian government plans to introduce Digital IDs. IT professionals will need to adapt to highly agile environments where digital technology is leveraged to launch new products and improve the customer experience.
The Australian government has also unveiled its 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to transform the nation into a global leader in cyber security. This strategy will introduce new policies, areas for compliance, and stricter penalties for non-compliance. IT professionals should develop their cyber security competencies to meet the increasing demand and changing regulatory landscape.
IT professionals should also focus on acting as a bridge between IT teams and the wider business. As organizations rely more on IT for revenue generation, professionals with a broader understanding of IT’s role in the business will be highly valued. The top five skills for IT professionals to focus on in 2024, according to Hays, are cyber security, full-stack development, data analysis, business analysis, and cloud platforms.
While the overall economy may face challenges, the IT sector, with its ability to leverage technology, is expected to have a strong year. IT professionals can look forward to exciting opportunities in the field.