Regional Director in Singapore, OutSystems
The pandemic has raised companies’ awareness of the imperative to adopt IT tools in business architecture. It has also accelerated the development of IT tools available in the market. Skilled talent shortage is however, a barrier to full adoption of emerging IT infrastructure. In Singapore, it is predicted that the highly skilled worker deficit will hit 1.1 million by 2030.
CIO World Asia spoke with Leonard Tan, Regional Director in Singapore, OutSystems. Tan discuses the long-term impact of talent shortage and things organisations can do to mitigate such situations.
Outsystems is a leading software development provider, priding themselves on automation software enhancing the entire application lifecycle. The software also boosts seamless integration with over 400+ existing IT infrastructure like snowflake, Sales Force and Slack.
Mitigating Talent Shortage
Tech talent shortage has been a growing concern in the industry. The pandemic has prompted a digital shift and organizations across the world are scrambling to get their IT systems set up in order to ensure business continuity. This includes internal collaboration and employee management systems, as well as customer-facing digital applications that consumers are now demanding.
As Singapore continues to uphold its position as a major technology hub in the region, organizations face the challenge of securing talent with the relevant technological expertise and knowledge required to meet their digital transformation and innovation goals. With the limited supply of tech talent, tech giants are resorting to offering higher salaries to qualified candidates. On the other hand, smaller businesses may not be able to beat or match the same incentives, and resort to offering perks such as flexible work hours to attract hires.
To mitigate this issue and overcome the talent crunch, companies should consider hiring candidates that possess a broader set of capabilities and not just base hiring decisions on advanced technical skills. This could open up a larger pool of desirable candidates for companies to pick from. As long as the candidate carries the fundamental qualities required of his or her role, other relevant skills can always be picked up through internal and external training programs.
Long-Term Impact Of Talent Shortage
In the long run, talent shortage could lead to lower productivity as workloads of existing employees increase. This is especially so for developers who are heavily invested in the company’s business development and digital transformation processes. To ensure developers stay efficient and maximize the roles of current engineers, organizations should embrace development platforms like OutSystems to speed development, offload mundane tasks of software development and allow their development teams to focus on creativity and innovation. According to a recent 2021 Gartner Analyst Report, Gartner predicts that “by 2025, 70% of new applications by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.” The COVID crisis has proven rapid app development and constant iteration in software to be important to businesses. Organizations started to prioritize the way developers work as they adapt to digitalisation. Failing to reduce workloads of employees as a result of talent shortage could also lead to employee burnout, and eventually result in high turnover rates. With talent shortage being a prevalent problem all around the world, the last thing companies need is for their existing talents to leave.
Things Organizations Can Do To Address Talent Shortage
Apart from partnerships with educational institutions, companies should also provide opportunities for their own employees to constantly upskill themselves. Companies can conduct internal training programs to develop their competencies and equip them with the most updated digital skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Salary subsidies can also be set aside for employees to enroll in courses outside of the workplace to reskill and upskill themselves to stay relevant in the industry.
Beyond application development tools to help manage the IT side of the business, organizations can address talent shortages through education. This can be done by supporting schools and institutions and providing them with the necessary resources to train students. Through these programs, students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to position themselves at the forefront of the digital economy. Beyond application development tools to help manage the IT side of the business, organizations can address talent shortages through education. This can be done by supporting schools and institutions and providing them with the necessary resources to train students.
Skills Aspiring Tech Graduates Should Possess
When it comes to skills and expertise needed to enter the tech industry, many people have the misconception that one has to possess technical skills like coding, blockchain, analytics and AI in order to get into tech. While hard skills are important, we should not undermine the importance of soft skills. Given the nature of the tech industry, fresh graduates should be able to adapt quickly to the rapidly-changing landscape, have a thirst for new knowledge and keep abreast with emerging technology trends. On top of these, resilience and creativity are also key to thriving in this innovative and competitive industry.
While hard skills are important, we should not undermine the importance of soft skills. Given the nature of the tech industry, fresh graduates should be able to adapt quickly to the rapidly-changing landscape, have a thirst for new knowledge and keep abreast with emerging technology trends.Leonard Tan, Regional Director in Singapore, OutSystems
OutSystems’ Efforts In Bridging Talent Gaps
One way to help bridge these gaps is through collaborations with educational institutions. OutSystems recently collaborated with ITE Singapore to launch a new Solutioning Center to empower and train ITE students to build agile applications and stay future-ready for the new age of application development. The MOU signing with ITE will provide students with comprehensive training, certifications and learning materials to support the development of new applications, enabling students to quickly build applications with modern user interfaces, integrations and data. OutSystems is also working with partners and customers to offer internship opportunities for students across a wide range of sectors, preparing them for the workforce. It is hoped that by partnering with forward-looking institutions like ITE, a new generation of tech talent can be nurtured to identify and develop innovative solutions for real-world business problems.
Another way that OutSystems help organizations to manage talent shortages is through their capability to bridge silos, streamline processes and enable teams to collaborate and focus on core innovation. The OutSystems platform gives organizations a way to design and develop software applications quickly, with minimal hand-coding and incorporating reusable components. This way, companies can mitigate the skills gap by lowering the entry barrier and eliminating the need for extensive coding experience.
OutSystems is always looking at how they can support modern businesses with the most pressing software development challenges today. This includes managing constant change, talent shortages and ever-increasing needs to modernize.
It is a sound move to partner with schools and focus on nurturing local talent. Local talent are shown more likely to stick around for the long haul. This strategy targets the issue at its’ core (ie insufficient graduates with relevant IT skills) and lowers the barriers companies who soon have a wider talent pool, face in fully adopting IT infrastructure.