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What does 2016 hold for IT contractors?

Jessica Jasch | Jan 06, 2016

With the new year upon us, businesses, recruiters and contractors will be gearing up for new and old challenges as well as opportunities that may be presented.

To facilitate this, it is about time to look back at 2015 and review the trends and patterns that have impacted contractor services and may persist into 2016.

Trend 1) Increasing demand for IT contractor assistance

According to Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA), there has been significant growth in demand for IT contractors.

ICT Employment Trends Report found that the time it took to place an information and communication technology (ICT) contractor had increased throughout the country - except in South Australia. 

The report released figures for all of Australia's states and territories in comparison to the previous quarter:

  • Australian Capital Territory rose from 40 days to 45
  • Victoria increased 17 days from 16 to 33
  • New South Wales saw an increase of 11 days to 28 - up from 17
  • Queensland grew from 20 to 25 days 
  • Western Australia jumped to 20 days, up from 13
  • South Australia dropped 20 days to 25

"The market is feeling confident which is being reflected in strong job advertising growth, so it is not surprising that it is becoming more competitive to place ICT contractors," said ITCRA CEO Julie Mills. 

The trend may mean that Australian companies are taking innovation and IT seriously, demanding more work throughout the year. As technology continues its forward progression, organisations may continue to demand contractor assistance as they roll out new IT services, processes and strategies throughout 2016. 

Trend 2) Innovation may drive deregulation

According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), businesses continue to feel constrained by unwieldy regulations. 

ACCI 2015 National Red Tape Survey found that approximately half of respondents said that the impact of regulatory legislation had negatively impacted their ability to grow their business.  

Additionally, over 1 in 4 respondents reported that they allocated 11 hours a week or more to spend on compliance, with almost half of all respondents estimating that the annual cost of being compliant was more than $10,000. 

"Every hour that an entrepreneur spends filling in paperwork is an hour they are not growing their business, satisfying their customers and creating job opportunities," said ACCI CEO Kate Carnell. 

However, with the election of a new prime minister and the launch of the government's new National Innovation and Science Agenda there should be more opportunities to create a dynamic and advanced Australian economy. Central to this will be the reduction in red tape.

If regulations are eased on small businesses, there could be further demand for IT contractor services as SMEs aim for growth in 2016. 

Trend 3) Better gender equality and more female IT leaders 

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Australia is currently falling behind the rest of the world in a series of categories that measure digital literacy. 

"Australian businesses achieved an overall 'Digital IQ' score of 75 points, over 2 per cent below the global average of 77.2, and well below the score of 81 for the survey's forerunners, suggesting that we lack the confidence to embrace digital innovation," said PwC Partner and Digital Services leader John Riccio.

One way Australia could facilitate a better grasp of digital technology is by encouraging a greater range of tech and commercial leaders. One major barrier that is currently afflicting Australia is gender equality. 

As 2016 closes in, it is essential that the Australian government and its economic leaders work to reduce the limits placed on female leaders in the tech sector as well as other industries. With a new pool of leadership talent, Australian companies may be able to better compete with their global peers. 

If you are interested in trends that may affect your business in 2016, talk to Oncore Services today and find out how their services can help your business become a more innovative organisation. 

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