Home > NZ Cyber Security and Skill Shortage Concerns

Company bosses are relying on immigrants to fill a management and technology skills gap, which is becoming a major concern.

PikPok gaming company chief executive Mario Wynands said the games industry was suffering from a scarcity of people with project and product management skills.

"There's been a shortage of programmers over the last couple of years," Wynands said.


Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin says he's focusing more on transferring retail skills into a digital world.

"In recent months we've found that scarcity has been addressed between the most recent crop of graduates, as well as healthy immigration bringing high-tech skills into New Zealand."


But skills shortages are not only a concern for the IT industry. A PWC annual chief executive survey revealed 84 per cent of of them are concerned about the availability of key skills. 

Bakers and butchers are two skills shortages faced by Foodstuffs.

Leadership and emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation and digital are the most valuable skills employees can have, but are difficult to recruit.

Foodstuffs chief executive Chris Quin said his main concern for 2017 was making sure the company knew what customers wanted. 

"We have immigration, and globalisation, and digital use and disruption continues to affect us," he said. 

Cyber security concern has grown from 66 per cent in 2015 to 77 per cent in 2016 and now sits at 91 per cent.

"Something like over three-quarters of New Zealanders bought something online last month. Many are looking for solutions — they're looking for a meal, not grocery products." 

Technological skills were also a concern for Quin, but Foodstuffs, which owns the New World and Pak 'n Save supermarket brands, was committed to training staff to become digitally focused. 

"As we digitise our business we're focusing more on transferring retail skills into a digital world," he said.

Foodstuffs is planning a store with only self-service checkouts.

"We have produce managers with 20 years experience but we need to enhance their skills. 

The skills hardest to find were bakers and butchers.  

"We have talent arriving in the country — a lot of bakers that mainly come from Southeast Asia."


Cyber security is a growing concern for company bosses, with 94 per cent feeling cyber breaches will reduce trust in their industry. 

BNZ chief executive Anthony Healy said: "We get many attempts at attacks a week. We have to keep investing in the resilience of our systems and our firewalls."

Collaboration between banks was increasing dramatically because the Government saw cyber attacks as a significant risk to the financial system and economy, Healy said.

"Sometimes attacks are so random just to see if they can elicit any information."

Wynands said hackers were an issue in the gaming industry.

"We are constantly evolving around privacy and data security of customer information," he said. 

"It's hard for anything to be truly secure but it's something we have to remain vigilant about and stay one step ahead of. " 

Quin said cyber security was also an increasing concern for the retail industry, especially as the shopping becomes more personalised.

"Data and customer information is going to be our life blood. How well we know customers is critical," he said.

"People trust you with their information and the world is seeing exponential growth in bad behaviour in this area."


The survey revealed the speed of technological change was a concern for 84 per cent of chief executives. 

Wynands said software and operational upgrades from big companies like Apple and Samsung could catch his company off-guard. 

"There are ever-advancing changes that may trip something up that was working fine before.

Quin said Foodstuffs was thinking of adding self-service checkouts even though self-scanning technology had resulted in more theft from Australian supermarkets,

"Our loss rates [from self-scanning] are no different to manned checkouts," he said.   

"What we do know is customers really like self scanning. It's not necessarily faster, but people like anonymity, we like to not have to engage and to do our own thing."

"There are plans to make some shops completely self service checkouts and it's all driven by what customers want. If customers think this is convenient then we will have more of them."


SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/89470336/skills-shortages-cyb...