OzTech: Foreign IT workers soon welcome again; Cybersecurity is top priority for CIOs; Gender pay gap in STEM; Enterprise spending in mobile devices continues to grow; NextDC builds data centre in NT

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Australia will soon welcome vaccinated skilled workers

Following the easing of restrictions for Australian citizens and permanent residents wanting to travel overseas, Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said in a statement, “We anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students” by 2022.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians were not allowed to travel overseas unless an exemption was issued, but that will change for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19—both citizens and permanent residents—from 1 November 2021. After that, Andrews said that the Australian federal government “stands ready to once more welcome a significant number of fully vaccinated people across Australia’s international border.”

Cybersecurity becomes CIOs’ No.1 priority

New research from Gartner revealed that an increase in regulation and cybersecurity threats are the reasons why cybersecurity will be the priority spending for 73% of CIOs across Australia and New Zealand in 2022. This is up from 67% in 2021, according to Gartner’s latest survey of 114 CIOs across the two countries.

This also represent a change from previous years where data analytics was the priority. Data analytics is now the second priority (58%). Following the top two priorities are integration technologies and APIs (45%), cloud platforms (44%), and digital business transformation (38%).

On another study released by Gartner, the research firm found that spending in IT products and services is expected to grow by 6.5%, exceeding $109 billion in spending in 2022. This growth has been driven by business rather than consumer spending, and Gartner expects a 5% to 6% growth rate to continue for the next few years.

Survey highlights the gender pay gap in STEM

A survey of more 957 women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers found they are both underpaid and underrepresented. The Professionals Australia survey conducted in November 2020 found women in STEM face a pay gap of 22% when compared to their male counterparts.

The result echoes other less-specific studies such as the one conducted by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) that concluded the Australia’s national gender pay gap is 14.2%.

The survey also found that women represented only 29% of the university-qualified STEM workforce and that more than a third of the female STEM workforce surveyed, aged 25 to 35, intended to leave their profession within five years.

Enterprise spending on mobile devices to reach $1.9 billion in 2025

Spending on enterprise mobility is expected to reach $1.9 billion in Australia in 2025 as enterprises allow employees to use mobile devices for remote work and invest in mobility technology that can secure content and applications, according to research firm GlobalData.

Enterprise spending on mobility technology and services in Australia is expected to grow 14.2% annually over the period 2020-2025.

NextDC builds data centre in NT

NextDC has been the selected by the Northern Territory government to build a data centre in Darwin, following and expression of interest published by the territory’s government.

This is part of the state government’s move to become a data centre powerhouse. In December 2020, the NT government published a final report from the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission stating that Darwin’s geographic location was an opportunity to create a data centre industry to supply digital services to Asia.

Publicly listed data centre provider NextDC has purchased land in Darwin for the construction but has not shared the date for the construction to start or finish.

Telecommunications provider Vocus, which was acquired in July 2021 by MIRA-Aware Super consortium for $3.5 billion, will provide high-capacity connectivity and be an anchor tenant in the facility.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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