Covid-19 has severely affected the global market for over 3 years. The unemployment rate in Hong Kong has dropped 0.2 percent in the last two months of 2021; but will it continue to drop in 2022? With the attack of the Omicron Variant, the Hong Kong job market continues to fight the challenge. Since travel restrictions have been implemented the number of foreign talents who are willing to travel to Hong Kong, has visibly decreased and has made a huge impact on the IT industry.
(Image from tradingeconomics.com)
On top of the pandemic, the other challenge is the migration trend. Due to the uncertainty of the Hong Kong political situation, the quality of living, and chances for personal development, there is an increasing amount of Hong Kong young talents who have decided to move to other countries such as the US, UK, Canada, etc. As the IT talents can apply their skills anywhere in the global IT industry as well as many countries offer favorable immigration policies to computer science or STEM professionals, they tend to have less concern than others to make the migration decision.
On the other hand, the demand for IT talents is also acutely rising. The urge for digital transformation for companies from different industries has rapidly escalated since the pandemic. Start-ups in new tech such as Crypto, NFT, Metaverse, Fintech, or Smart retail are also competing for Tech talents. Most of these companies require a large number of hands-on level engineers to help perform the digital transformation, and we foresee this trend will be long-term.
Working or schooling from home appears to be essential for COVID precaution policies, cloud service then becomes essential for companies that offer work-from-home resulting in high demand for both private cloud and public cloud services. A large number of cloud engineers are needed under the circumstances. In addition, people are relying on e-commerce and online banking business models more than ever. IT is no longer a cost center but becomes the essence of a profit center business and for the purpose of competing market shares.
Every factor shows that the gap for IT talent shortage becomes wider in order to fill the positions to keep up with the hasty development of the industry. In this guide, we will be looking into the trends affecting IT hiring, how employers can overcome the hiring difficulties, and salary increments in 2022.
Impacts On The IT Hiring From Digital Transformation Trends Of Different Industries #
The industries we will be covering are:
- Real Estate
- Event and Marketing
- Entertainment and Hospitality
For the construction industry, digital transformation is to implement technology to more efficiently manage workers and construction materials. Using AI facial recognition is a trend now to replace the traditional clock-in system. With the database of employees, it is easier to record the working hours of each employee and calculate the salary. As many of them may not be permanent employees, using facial recognition dispense the use of employee cards and provide more security to the construction site.
In terms of material management, image recognition technology is also the digital transformation trend in the construction industry. Using cameras and IoT to track the materials traveling in and out of the construction site is one way to use the technology. Image recognition technology helps build an intelligent building as well which will be further discussed in the next section.
Real Estate #
In the real estate industry, intelligent buildings are not only implying shopping malls but also residential buildings. Residential buildings are designed to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and living standards by implementing eco-friendly and energy-efficient technologies – from hardware to software. It allows residents to remotely control everything in their home from lighting, airconditioner, to security devices through mobile applications. Some mobile apps are also designed to improve the convenience and user experience of the tenants by providing easy access to the booking system of the clubhouse facilities for example.
Same way for the commercial buildings. Intelligent commercial buildings implement AI image recognition to analyze the customer flow, age groups of customers, and customer behaviors to better understand their tenants and make use of the data in rent negotiation if necessary. By analyzing customers’ behaviors, the marketing team of the building can based on the data create events to target a specific group of customers. They can also plan strategies to achieve cross-sale opportunities by exposing ads and information on the products the customer is potentially interested in.
Smart buildings also allow maintenance and management teams to track the condition of the buildings more easily since they usually implement a real-time tracking system for the water and electricity, weather conditions, and software to manage elevators, cameras, sensors, etc.
Event and Marketing #
With the rise of social media and the metaverse, event and marketing strategies are shifting to the virtual and digital world. Especially under the effect of the pandemic, hosting offline events is nearly impossible, many companies have joined the new trend and hosted their events in the metaverse for the first time. Virtual events can be a fun way to enforce engagement if the whole event can be experienced over and over again in the metaverse. With the help of data collection, companies can analyze the attendees’ behavior from pre-event to post-event to further improve future events. Or they can analyze the event’s effectiveness to see the conversion rate for further engagement. In the future, people are likely to get used to experiencing different activities through virtual events. The way to perceive information from around the world is from the internet, it is an advantage to broaden our sights without actually needing to be present in a specific place but anywhere you like.
The digital transformation in the retail industry is moving fast from online shopping to unmanned stores. Advanced technology such as AI, machine learning, and computer vision are applied to the Amazon Go stores, and computer vision is most likely to be the main development focus in the future of unmanned stores. Leading e-commerce stores in Hong Kong have also started building their smart retail stores and leading FMCG and retailers are forced to compete in this space.
Another main digital transformation in the retail industry is warehouse management. Robotic systems, machine learning, and automation help the growth of efficiency of the warehouse. Drones and robots can help stock-taking more efficiently, also reducing the manpower needed. In addition, the whole logistics process taking advantage of automation and robot systems can reduce the time used and increase output.
The logistics process is one of the main focuses of digital transformation for the FMCG industry. Since FMCG contains perishable food, smart devices that can detect and control the humidity and temperature are necessary for efficient food logistics. Data analysis is also critical to optimizing supply chain management. Consumer spending for FMCG is changing from time to time. With data analysis, FMCG companies can make better and more precise decisions for their supply chain and build efficient logistics.
By analyzing customer behavior, FMCG companies can understand the customer needs to leverage customer relationship management (CRM), which can ultimately increase customer satisfaction and retain customers. Leveraging data analytics and Loyalty programmes to increase competitiveness for FMCG companies has been an ongoing trend that has pushed FMCG to retain competing candidates in software engineering and data analytics, architecture, and engineering areas.
Digitized services have been one of the trends of digital transformation in the insurance industry. There are more and more insurers providing online insurance services that customers could buy and claim their insurance directly online with a speedy transaction and seamless claiming process. AI, machine learning, deep learning, and robotic automation are implemented to provide personalized and fluid customer service. In addition, the technologies mentioned above can help improve investigation in fraud detection and risk management by tracking the customers’ behaviors with the cloud database. Transitioning to total virtual services such as opening insurance accounts to claims processing is the future trend in the insurance industry.
The banking industry is transitioning to the virtual banking service. There are quite a number of uprising virtual banks in the past few years, such as WeLab Bank, Mox Bank, ZA Bank, etc. With the advanced back-end technology, virtual banking providers are able to facilitate a seamless experience for customers while mitigating financial crime risks. To further improve the customers’ experience, analyzing the customers’ behavior with the database can more effectively and accurately offer the most suitable products to the customers.
Over the past 2 – 3 years, banks are pushed to invest in digital banking while there are 8 additional banking licenses issued. As virtual banks are expanding overseas and banks are expanding their digital transformation from digital banking to AML, chatbot, call center transformation, etc. The demand for banking tech talent keeps surging.
Entertainment and Hospitality #
Artificial Intelligence (AI) facial recognition is widely used in casinos to identify players and prevent criminal behaviors, however, the industry is also debating using this technology to identify potential “problem gamblers” or those gamblers whose behavior appears to be unhealthy or addictive tendencies that may harm their lives as well. The use of data, machine learning, and facial recognition could help operators to identify problem gamblers that may need professional help more quickly.
Facial recognition, data, and machine learning on the other hand can enhance the overall experience of the customers spending time in the casino and the hotel. By identifying the customer’s identification using facial recognition, data collection, and data analysis, the casino and hotel can provide customized service for the customer in favor of his/her preference. This includes digital check-in and check-out, robotic concierge, smart rooms connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. Utilizing these technologies, companies can effectively respond and interact with customers. In return, these will hopefully increase customer loyalty and improve customer engagement.
The airline industry has been actively transforming, yet, COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation. Utilizing innovative technologies to create a digitalized journey helps improve the safety, security, and passenger experience at the same time. The whole passenger processing flow is now contactless, streamlined, and self-serviced taking advantage of biometric technology, applications, and automation. Big data analytics is also implemented to help the service providers better understand the passenger behaviors, to cater to and provide tailored services to the passengers from pre-flight to post-flight experience.
Many airlines have developed their own mobile application for passengers to access
real-time flight information, check in online with virtual boarding passes, luggage tracking, and customize in-flight services such as meal preference, which can minimize food waste and costs. Some aircrafts also implemented intelligent cabins with sensors built into seats to monitor passengers’ tiredness, temperature, or hydration levels, automatically adapting the cabin environment or prompting the crew to take particular actions. Luxury services like airline lounges use AI technology to identify passengers with facial recognition at the entrance and provide tailored service with passenger data that increase the likelihood of customer loyalty.
Get Full Access to the Guide! #
There are similarities in the digital transformation of different industries, AI technology especially facial recognition, big data, software development, and cyber security are the main technologies that are implemented in the digital transformation. Talents in the above sectors are demanding for the industries, and with the specific skills that are on-trend now, the salary increment for these talents could be a lot higher than those without. If you would like to join the IT industry, these approaches would be good to start with.
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