Through the digitisation of their operations, organisations have maintained their services during the COVID enforced lockdowns.

Due to border closures, the loss of skilled migrants in IT reduced the available talent pool for hire.

Loyal staff have been under significant pressure to maintain their organisations’ operations while rapidly adopting a digital business model.

Staff will leave for roles that offer them training opportunities. A failure to train staff will lead to a deficiency of Australian skills. All businesses will benefit as the calibre of the workforce available increases.

Rather than finding the perfect candidate with exact qualifications and experience, people must be allowed to grow and develop new skill sets. Employers must be open to risk in promoting staff to senior roles.

ADAPT’s Research and Advisory clients can learn more about the Australian IT Skills Shortage.


As Professor of Business and Economics at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education, Mark Esposito has identified the changing skillsets needed as one of the seven Global Trends worsening fractured globalisation through to 2035.

Finally, as an educator, I can tell you firsthand that education is not entirely serving its stakeholders in the right way or its constituents. We have to change the way we’re closing the skill gaps drastically.

We estimate roughly that by 2025, the skillsets required in the workplace will be 35% different from what we have right now.

If we expand in the conversation a bit more into the future by integrating the idea of how technology will change the nature of jobs, we expect that by 2035, roughly 65% of current jobs will not exist.

Learn how the pandemic has accelerated the fracturing of globalisation and how technology leaders can grasp the unique opportunities that lie ahead.


Assyl Haidar is Director of Digital Transformation, Operations at the University of Melbourne. He believes digital literacy is key to all employees being empowered to innovate the customer experience.

It’s not the skills mix that has changed. The urgency of accelerating literacy has. In some cases, it might not be literacy. It might be confidence because once you put the word digital in front, many people say, ‘Well, I’m not a technical person.’

Having that conversation to say, this is not about technical and non-technical. This is not about mastery. This is about simply being empowered to participate in an increasingly digital environment.

Whatever our point of view is on that, it is increasing. Leaders are responsible for managing that pathway responsibly to that urgency that has gone up.

Assyl discusses leveraging augmented, virtual, and mixed reality to facilitate hybrid collaboration and personalise the online student experience.


CIOs are uniquely positioned to become the talent managers of the organisation, according to MIT CISR’s Research Scientist, Kristine Dery.

The CIO is best positioned for [ensuring the right skill sets are in the organisation]. They are the ones that have to understand what employee experience is going to enable them to attract the kind of digital talent that they’re going to need and not only attract them but grow them from within.

If you’re in a remote geographical location that just can’t go out and grab talent from anywhere and everywhere, you’re going to have to work with what you’ve got, and you’re going to have to grow that talent and future proof them.

In most of the companies that I am talking to that are high performing in terms of their employee experience, the CIO plays a major role. So, the skills of the CIO are way beyond just getting an IT unit to work effectively. They are starting to become the talent managers of the organisation.

In her full interview, Kristine Dery shares more about building up a high-performing digital workforce.


PWC Australia’s Chief Digital Officer, Vishy Narayanan, says he’s been solving this challenge by measuring digital fitness and identifying opportunities for upskilling.

There are not a lot of skills in the market. And largely, I believe, this is my personal view, is it’s because of the market’s risk aversion to sort of to increase that percentage from 20 or 30 into new skills. We are sort of caught on the hop a little bit right now as a collective community.

Our approach is to run a complete whole-of-firm upskilling program. We call it digital fitness. A little bit like, what’s your digital fitness? We have a digital IQ program. It’s underpinned by a common benchmarking.

For the first time in our firm’s history, we have a tool that allows us to benchmark it regardless of where you sit in the firm. Whether you’re assurance, et cetera, it gives you a score. And we love scores at PwC, and we love scoreboards, and we love a bit of healthy rivalry and competition.

We’re trying to drive that upskilling and then pulling people off the line to give them specific skills and machine learning, or AI or even things like RPA, which allows us to build these centres of excellence.

Vishy spoke more about building centres of excellence in a panel discussion exclusive to ADAPT Research and Advisory clients only.


Infrastructure Mason’s Founder, Dean Nelson, says employees hold their destiny in their own hands. Workers must have frank conversations with management to determine which skill sets will be needed by their organisation.

You need to think about, “What is my next career move? What else is needed?”

To orchestrate a lot of that, there’s architecture. There’s management. There are things where the jobs may be replaced, and scale will go up, but it’ll press other things that are needed. You need to look at what job you have today; will it get disrupted?

You’d look around and say, where will those jobs open up because of that disruption? They don’t all just go away. Other jobs are created.

You now need to think about retooling your skills to do it. And I think to have a straight conversation with your management team about it. What else can I learn? What can I do here? What do you see being replaced in the future? Address it head-on.

Listen to Dean Nelson discuss protecting the future of your job, Digital Labour and the Infrastructure Masons.


Join our community for more executive presentations, community interviews, Australian tech trends, and fact-based research.

Assyl Haidar Director of Digital Transformation, Operations at University of Melbourne
Dr Kristine Dery Research Scientist at MIT CISR
Dr. Kristine Dery is a Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management in the Center for Information Systems Research (MIT CISR).... More

Dr. Kristine Dery is a Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management in the Center for Information Systems Research (MIT CISR).
Kristine leads MIT CISR’s research on the Future-ready Workforce that provides leaders with insights into what it takes to equip employees with the digital tools and the skills, capabilities and ways of working to be effective in a digital world. Her previous research has explored the employee experience in the context of Agile Ways of Working, Virtual Connectivity, and also what it takes to attract and retain the Talent with the digital skills to successfully deliver on the challenges of new digital business models. She works closely with research colleagues at MIT CISR to ensure that her research is integrated into broader conversations around digital transformation.

In addition to her research portfolio, Kristine works closely with senior management teams and boards of large organizations in AsiaPac to capture value from MIT CISR research as they wrestle with the challenges of digital transformation.

Vishy Narayanan Chief Digital Officer at PwC Australia
Vishy is an accomplished digital transformation executive with compelling expertise across marketing and technology, strategy and implementation. He has held leadership roles... More

Vishy is an accomplished digital transformation executive with compelling expertise across marketing and technology, strategy and implementation.

He has held leadership roles in high profile ASX listed companies and blue chip professional services practices as well as in innovative start-up businesses.As Partner and Chief Digital Officer at PwC Australia his role is to drive change and help strengthen PwC’s innovative culture and the digital mindset across the whole of the business and deliver even better value for our clients by making the right investments into the future.

Prior to joining PwC Vishy was Global Head of Digital Technology Services at Cochlear where he initiated and led the transformation of online customer engagement on an international scale.

Dean Nelson Chairman & Founder at Infrastructure Masons
Dean Nelson is the Founder and Chairman of Infrastructure Masons, an independent industry group of executive and technology professionals entrusted with building... More

Dean Nelson is the Founder and Chairman of Infrastructure Masons, an independent industry group of executive and technology professionals entrusted with building and operating the physical and logical structures of the Digital Age.

Dean has led $10B in infrastructure projects in 9 countries. His extensive architecture, engineering and operations experience includes 29 years in Hardware, 22 years in Network, 17 years in Infrastructure Software and 17 years in Data Centers. He has produced numerous award winning innovations in mission critical facilities and compute environments. He also holds four US patents.

Until 2019, Dean was Head of Uber Compute, at Uber. His team is responsible for Metal as a Service (MaaS) technical infrastructure (data center, compute, storage, network and infrastructure software) and business functions serving Uber’s global leading ridesharing business, as well as UberEatsUberFreightUberHealthUberForBusiness, and Autonomous vehicle and UberAir development.

Prior to Uber, Dean worked at Ebay Inc for 6 ½ years as the Vice President of Global Foundation Services, which served over 300 million active users enabling over $250Bn of enabled commerce volume annually. At end of his tenure at ebay, his team successfully integrated, then split ebay and paypal infrastructures into two independent internet companies. Prior to ebay, Dean worked at Sun Microsystems for 17 years in various technical, management and executive leadership roles in Manufacturing, Engineering, IT and Real Estate. His final project was the consolidation of Sun’s multi-billion dollar global technical infrastructure portfolio of over 1,000 facilities.

Dean is creator of the Digital Service Efficiency methodology, the first miles per gallon measurement for technical infrastructure, used to measure as a single system. He served as the Chair of the Technology Business Management Council High Tech Workgroup, and Chairman & Founder of Data Center Pulse in 2009 – an exclusive datacenter owner community with over 9,000 members in 100 countries. In 2016, Dean founded Infrastructure Masons, an industry association where infrastructure professionals connect, grow and give back. Dean was identified by as one of the top five people who changed the data center. Dean is also the recipient of Sun’s prestigious Innovation AwardModular DC Deployment award and Best DC Design award from Uptime Institute as well as the Operational Excellence and Infrastructure Trailblazer awards from The TBM Council and Outstanding Contributions to the Data Center Industry award from Data Center Dynamics.

In his personal time he gives back by building schools and dorms providing access to education for impoverished children through his Mother and Son Just Let Me Learn Foundation. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and performing with his daughter.

Hiring Skills Culture