Hong Kong I.T. needs to CATCH UP!
"Hong Kong's IT industry is facing a shortage in talents now. There are not many students studying Computer Science or Information Technology every year. According to the figures provided by the Legislative Council, there are 8,200 undergraduates and graduate students in Information Technology and related subjects each year, but the number of people entering the industry is really few. "
When talking about the development of Information Technology in Hong Kong recently, we must mention about the establishment of Innovation and Technology Bureau in November 2015 (hereinafter referred to “ITB"). The Government is determined to develop Hong Kong into a knowledge-based economy and an innovation hub for technology and its application in the region. Therefore, they set up ITB. The ITB aims to create a vibrant ecosystem for the government, industry, academia and research sector to interact under a favourable environment with excellent software and hardware support for developing and applying innovation and technology. The ITB will study and implement measures to encourage more private organisations, venture capital funds and angel investors to invest in innovation and technology. The bureau will also study the feasibility of co-investment in technology start-ups by government and private funds. Mr. Nicholas Yang, the newly-appointed Secretary for Innovation & Technology, said, “Hong Kong is well-positioned to develop high technology due to the dual advantages of 'one country' and 'two systems', as well as its well-established legal system, independent judiciary and sound intellectual property regime. In addition to the advanced infrastructure, world-class universities / specialist / research personnel, and a strong ability to attract and contact foreign first-class research talent, I am confident to promote Hong Kong's technetronic industries in line with the overall long-term interests of Hong Kong and the characteristics of Hong Kong's development model.”
Hong Kong's IT industry is facing a shortage in talents now. There are not many students studying Computer Science or Information Technology every year. According to the figures provided by the Legislative Council, there are 8,200 undergraduates and graduate students in Information Technology and related subjects each year, but the number of people entering the industry is really few. The Information Technology Industry Manpower Survey Report published by the Vocational Training Council noted that, as of April 2014, there were about 83,000 people in Hong Kong working in Information Technology-based jobs in various industries. According to the survey, it was predicted that there is a need for additional training of 4,500-5,500 I.T. practitioners each year, of which about 2,250-2,750 (about 50%) should reach degree level or above, and the rest without degree level. The Information Technology market is very large; Taking HKTDC figures obtained in June 2015, there are about 320,000 SMEs in Hong Kong, accounting for 80% of all companies incorporated in Hong Kong. The number of SMEs in the information and communications sector is more than 12,000 and the number is still rising, but there are only 80,000 people working in this industry, meaning that there are only a few employees working in each of these companies. With so many SMEs in Hong Kong, the supply of talents in the I.T. industry cannot meet the demand in the market. As time has changed, "Information Technology" is no longer strange to people. No matter which age group people belong to, they always carry their cell phones around. To a certain extent, everyone has knowledge on technology in their daily use, studies or work. However, not many people have chosen to major or further their study in the I.T. field. Under this imbalanced situation, many job vacancies in Information Technology cannot be filled.
According to the government's objectives and survey figures, it is believed that the current social phenomenon in Hong Kong cannot be solved immediately. Without doubt, large companies or public institutions have the ability to cope with or invest in this area. However, if SMEs want to move with the times or to further expand its scale of operation, it is believed that they have to rely on some strong and stable I.T. solutions providers for support. Some issues for these companies to consider are: Are these software companies familiar with Hong Kong's business environment? Are there any solutions providers which are strong and able to provide innovative solutions to various industries constantly in the ever-advancing world of technology? As for their service, is there any accredited certification?
Although Hong Kong's I.T. development is facing a big barrier, we believe that it can be improved! With our special advantages, as long as we continue to uphold the spirit of not fearing of difficulties and not being afraid of setbacks, Hong Kong can also create a new world with the development of science and technology. All we have to do is to catch up on our innovation and technological development!