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Industry should talk to government, not the other way around

Sathya Mithra Ashok | April 2, 2014
In a chat with Reseller News MD of IBM NZ, Rob Lee, discusses the changes that the firm is going through globally, the effects it could have on the NZ market and how the firm is handling the skills shortage that haunts technology firms in the country.

I am an engineer. The way I would talk about this is there is mathematics and there is applied mathematics. You are not an engineer if you know just mathematics, you have to understand applied mathematics. I can see a need for people who can do thing, people who can apply things.

There is another angle. You need a new set of business executives who will understand the power of the application and what they can do. So I think there are a number of things we need to address as NZ.

We are excited about what we are doing with Unitec already, but there is opportunity to do even more in that style.

We will always bring in interns, bring in graduates.

We are always looking to help internal staff develop and grow. We have a local and global programs that are supportive of where the corporation is going. To make sure they have the wherewithal to engage with clients, to discuss, and really making sure that they understand and put themselves in the customer's shoes.

It is not an easy bridge to cross. To talk both languages is very tough. There are some people in NZ with that skill to do that, but not enough of them. Some of them who do have the skills, often choose to move out of the country.

It is up to industry to talk to government about what we believe is required, as opposed to the other way around. We have a role in putting forward what we believe is a good environment for technology to help the nation, to help businesses flourish and to be successful on the world stage.


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