Finance, utilities legislation to drive IT hiring in 2013: Peoplebank

Australia’s largest IT recruiter shares insight into IT job market

The IT job market in 2012 was reasonably subdued.

That is according to Peoplebank CEO, Peter Acheson, who describes the hiring of IT people this year as being “relatively soft.”

As for what was driving hiring this year, Acheson points to the strengthening of the ecommerce and online trading environment.

“Organisations are trying to do more business online, so that means investments into ecommerce and web enabled businesses,” he said.

There was also what Acheson characterises as the continued emergence of Cloud computing as a business model.

“It has gained a position in the market now that’s reflected in hiring,” he said.

“So we saw hiring around the major IT service providers with the development of Cloud based products.”

When it comes to next year’s prospects, Acheson says regulatory change will drive IT projects in 2013.

The first of those is the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation in the insurance sector pertaining to insurance companies charging commission based on the sale of an insurance product to charging for advice.

“That legislation takes place on July 1, so many insurance companies in the early months of 2013 will have projects linked to the FOFA regulation,” Acheson said.

“That will drive modifications to systems and processes, but it will ultimately drive some hiring of IT people in that space.”

Acheson says many insurance companies already have a lot of those project underway, but at the same time expects some hiring of IT people to help automate and change systems linked to the FOFA legislation.

Get smart

Another regulatory change that Acheson expects to flow through is changes from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) after Prime Minister Gillard vowed to implement a number of changes to the regulation of the utilities sector.

One of the recommendations that came out of that discussion was that the major utilities of Australia look to adopt “smart meters.”

“We know from the states that have already rolled out smart meters, specifically Victoria and to a lesser extent NSW, that before a utility can put a smart meter on a person’s home, they need to do a massive upgrade of their IT network,” Acheson said.

“This is because you are effectively moving from a batch based billing process to an online real-time process.”

The question then is when will this will take place in terms of the utilities sector, which Acheson predicts it will be at the end of 2013.

“On the back of that regulatory change, by the second half of 2013 the smart meter space can be driving a substantial amount of IT project based work as the major utilities have to upgrade their core IT networks,” he said.

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