New rules and roles in the digital revolution

Big data has been the business buzz word of the past few years. If you haven’t already jumped aboard the digital data bandwagon, Grant Burley, Director at Absolute IT – and winners of the 2015 SARA Large Recruitment Agency of the Year Award in New Zealand – explains why you need to get on board.

In 2011, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that retailers exploiting data analytics at scale across their organisations could increase their operating margins by more than 60%, and that the United States healthcare sector could reduce costs by 8% by improving its data analytics efficiency and quality.

Fast forward five years and big data is quickly transforming the way companies interact with suppliers, business partners and consumers.

The right insights can be the differentiating factor between being just a competitor and being the market leader.

Digital roles on the rise

Digital technology is a huge growth area for New Zealand’s tech sector, where a 500% increase in digital jobs is expected in the next 10 years.

At Absolute IT, we have seen an incredible rate of growth in digital vacancies on our database – 70% just in the past 12 months. The challenge for businesses is that there are not enough skilled professionals to fill these roles.

Two categories of IT jobs are emerging in the big data sector: analysts (such as data scientists and data engineers) and architects. Big data analysts help businesses collect manage and gather insights from their big data. Big data architects help businesses find the best way to structure, access and store their big data.

Demand for CDOs

In a recent global study by PwC on the rise of a new kind of executive – the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) – it was found that hiring one is a fast-growing international trend.

In New Zealand, we are seeing the same trend. We asked more than 400 IT employers what their expectations were in terms of digital vacancies and management in 2016. Almost two-thirds of tech employers (61%) said they expected an increase in digital roles in their business and 20% thought they would create a role for a CDO or digital manager this year.

The CDO role is a difficult nut to crack. The PwC report describes a CDO’s role as a caretaker of digital innovation – “both externally, in the companies’ interactions with customers, partners and suppliers; and internally, collecting and analysing data, improving efficiency through the use of digital technologies, and transforming organisation and culture to enable their companies to compete successfully in the digital age”.

The report notes that the position’s defining requirement is flexibility. Due to the range of responsibilities and the varied levels of digital maturity in different organisations, current CDOs come from diverse backgrounds and have the ability to quickly adapt to changing situations.

Not surprisingly, industries with a strong consumer focus and a high need for a digital strategy, such as media, entertainment, food and beverage, and consumer products, are the front-runners in hiring CDOs.

Companies are looking for leadership from their CDOs, and they are looking for insights and trends from their big data IT specialists. The truth is that businesses are struggling with the challenge of extracting commercial value from their data and there is a huge opportunity for employers to recruit and benefit from IT professionals with skills in this area.

Submissions for the 2016 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARA) close 4 August 2016. Find out more information.

  • About the author

About the author

Grant Burley

Absolute IT

Director, Wellington

Grant Burley is passionate about two things: IT and recruitment. He is co-founder and director of Absolute IT. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT recruitment industry, he is a director, advisor, consultant, mentor and trainer, with a finger...

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