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Australian IT shops labelled less efficient than their global counterparts

Australian IT shops labelled less efficient than their global counterparts

Low levels of training blamed

Australian IT organizations have been labelled less efficient than their Nth American or European counterparts, according to a new benchmarking study into IT business performance.

Undertaken by consulting firm, the Reset Group, the study attributes the inefficiencies to low levels of training undertaken by Australasian businesses.

The group's global benchmarking director, Chris Bishop, said the results show a much different picture than studies based on overseas businesses.

"Australian and New Zealand firms face lower salary costs than the northern hemisphere, but this does not relate to better efficiencies," Bishop said.

"A majority of local businesses have a greater number of IT staff to do the same job than their overseas competitors.

"One of the reasons for staff inefficiencies could be the low levels of training undertaken by Australasian businesses."

Bishop said the study also shows that IT expenditure is growing at a slightly faster rate than revenue growth.

"This is consistent with global trends as businesses seek to leverage their existing infrastructure," he added.

Bishop said businesses have lifted the bar in some areas with median firms expecting a 19 percent return on Investment for IT projects.

"There is a large difference between the innovation of dynamic smaller businesses of less than 500 staff and larger businesses," he said.

However, Wyatt Corporation APAC CIO, Terrence Kippinger, was surprised by the findings claiming local IT organizations were more likely to be understaffed.

"I find organizations here run a very tight ship with the problem often exacerbated by the skills shortage," Kippinger said.

"I agree Australian employers do neglect staff training but that is usually the result of not having enough staff on the job to accommodate off-site conferences or seminars."

The Career Group's talent specialist, Kirsten Daly, also believes IT staffing in Australia is stretched to the limit.

Daly calls it the 'talent shortage era' predicting it will get much worse in the next 10 years.

"Only five years ago when the IT sector crashed (following the boom) we worked with hundreds of IT specialists and many other employees who lost their roles through massive job cuts across Australia," she said.

"We experienced some people being forced to take jobs paying a quarter of their previous earnings. Since then things have radically changed but many people are still stuck in the same paradigm of five years ago."

The full results of the survey are available to businesses who submit their performance data at www.resetgroup.com.

The Reset Group was created in 2002 from former staff of global management consulting firms, Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young.

What do you think? Is Australian IT less efficient? E-mail sandra_rossi@idg.com.au


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