IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

How to tackle the great brain drain in the tech industry

By Contributor
Tue 28 Jun 2022

Article by New Relic A/NZ solutions consulting senior director Myk Shaforostov.

Attracting and retaining tech talent in Australia and New Zealand is becoming increasingly challenging, with the 2022 Hays Salary Guide showing a startling 91% of employers facing a skills shortage. This is hindering growth and operations for 83% of organisations - the highest level in the 43 years that the Guide has been produced.

During the pandemic, many skilled workers on visas returned to their home countries - many simply had no choice. Even as borders reopened, strict regulations on immigration made it difficult to lure tech talent from overseas. As a result, A/NZ currently relies on a very small pool of tech talent.

The situation has created a two-way brain drain: while overseas talent has returned home, local talent continues to be lured away with highly attractive packages that are hard to compete with. Although COVID has made it easier than ever to work remotely, many A/NZ companies, particularly in financial services, require workers to reside in-country due to data sovereignty issues.

One of the problems with a workforce that's constantly moving to the next big thing is the intellectual hole left after their departure. They take with them extensive institutional knowledge, and companies end up with a smaller team that's left to do the same amount of work with less knowledge.

The over-rotation of employees moving between different organisations impacts technology teams as well as business leaders. Business leaders need the best talent to build great products and remain competitive, and technology teams face huge challenges attracting and retaining the talent that they need to build, scale, run and maintain their applications to the high standards required.

How can organisations tackle this crisis?

Offering flexibility

People want the ability to choose whether they work remotely or come into the office, and organisations that force staff to be physically present in a workplace can probably count on a bigger brain drain. According to Accenture, 63% of high-growth companies have adopted a "productivity anywhere" working model, and 83% of workers prefer it. The days when ping-pong tables or beer on tap were highly valued are gone as they favour the flexibility that hybrid work offers.

Fostering fairness, growth

While companies with deep pockets can offer highly attractive salary packages, if the work isn't meaningful or staff are overworked, top talent won't stick around. Diversity, equity and inclusiveness are critical these days. According to Payscale's 2022 Gender Pay Gap Report, women earned only $0.82 for every dollar earned by a male counterpart. Women of all races and ethnic groups and men of colour earn less than white men. To attract and retain top talent, organisations need to ensure that racial and gender pay equity exists.

Offering career development and upskilling opportunities is critical and benefits both employees and the organisations they work for. Learning and development is also vital for retaining talent. In its From Great Resignation to Great Reimagination report, Deloitte notes that organisations can "aim to satisfy restless employees" by offering new learning or rotational positions. Investing in people is investing in growth and competitiveness.

Providing the right tools

Developers and engineers want to be doing meaningful work, not menial tasks. Having to constantly deal with alert fatigue and fire drills is not what they signed up for. They want to be writing code and building great products that delight customers. If engineers are doing meaningful and interesting work and given the opportunity to grow by learning and being challenged in the right way, they are more likely to stay. Spending time on low-grade, repetitive tasks that could be automated is a waste of resources, particularly when skills are scarce. Valuable tech staff should be working on high-value projects to drive growth, and organisations need to invest in tools and/or automation to make working environments for developers and engineers as frictionless as possible.

These approaches and cultural changes need to come from the top with the full support of the wider business. For many organisations, it's a significant adjustment. Businesses who once perceived the IT department as the "help desk" must now recognise them as one of the most business-critical departments in terms of driving innovation and growth. Evolving business culture to attract and retain skilled developers and engineers is vital not only to grow, but also to remain competitive.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
How well do rangatahi understand cyber safety in Aotearoa?
Do rangatahi in Aotearoa understand the importance of being safe online, or has lifelong exposure to the internet resulted in widespread complacency?
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.
Story image
Why printing security plays a vital part in keeping Aotearoa safe
While internet printing, mobile printing and other similar technologies have no doubt made things easier to manage, it has also brought a whole new set of problems to the table.
Story image
New Zealand cloud provider challenges Google's claims on data control for region
A Wellington cloud services provider says Google's claim it will offer New Zealanders complete control over their own data is not true.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
Data Protection
VMware introduces advanced workload protection for AWS
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat announces 2022 awards winners for A/NZ region
Red Hat recently acknowledged Australia and New Zealand partners with its annual awards, highlighting partners across various categories.
Story image
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Palo Alto Networks responds to rise in threats with MDR service
Unit 42 Managed Detection and Response is a new service that can offer continuous 24/7 threat detection, investigation and response.
Story image
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Data analytics
Data analytics a struggle for A/NZ healthcare organisations
A study by InterSystems has found that most Australian and New Zealand healthcare organisations struggle to use data analytics to support their business objectives.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
IBM expands Power10 server line for business modernisation
IBM has recently announced a significant expansion of its Power10 server line with the introduction of mid-range and scale-out systems.
Story image
Exclusive: The Access Group shares the benefits of embracing SaaS
In today's rapidly changing working environments, efficiency and productivity are surefire ways to create business growth and success.
Story image
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
Ministry will no longer accept equipment from Chinese firm Hikvision
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it will no longer accept equipment from a major Chinese surveillance camera maker.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Dicker Data
Dicker Data brought on as Acronis partner for A/NZ
The news about the partnership comes in as cyber criminals continue to exploit gaps in traditional solutions and strategies in NZ and across the APAC region.
Story image
Snyk announces plans to expand partner network in APJ
Recognising that partnerships are critical for growth, Snyk is building an entire partner ecosystem that will drive its expansion across APJ.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Exclusive: NZ-based DEFEND offers global cyber protection
DEFEND supports customers in 66 countries across the globe with a relentless focus on ensuring that every dollar spent on security provides a meaningful return on investment and reduces cyber risk.
Story image
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
Story image
Avast One extends protection with Online Safety Score
Avast One has extended its cross-platform support by adding its Online Safety Score feature to both the Mac and iOS platforms of Avast One.
Story image
Augmented Reality
TeamViewer remote access software integrated into RealWear Cloud
TeamViewer has announced a major expansion of its partnership with RealWear, a leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions for frontline industrial workers. 
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
SnapLogic teams up with meetmagic for charity and children
SnapLogic has announced its partnership with meetmagic, an online Australian platform that combines business and philanthropy.