The Sydney Morning Herald reports IBM Australia could cut as many as 1500 staff. Many of the jobs will go offshore to Asia and New Zealand.
IBM refuses to confirm or deny the report.
At first sight this could be a good thing. After all we get good, well-paid jobs with a multinational employer. If you want a job with IBM, I hope you’re lucky.
It isn’t all positive.
First, Australia and New Zealand are effectively a single market for tech jobs. Many senior IBM people in the two countries have responsibilities that stretch from Invercargill to Darwin or further. With some of those jobs going to Asia the total pool of work for Australians and New Zealanders will be smaller.
Second, New Zealanders will be among the 1500 getting laid off in Australia. Some may be your friends or relatives.
Third, there’s a worrying implication in the SMH story. IBRS analyst Alan Hansell says he:
wouldn’t be surprised if New Zealand ended up benefiting the most from the cuts. This was because of the country’s cheaper real estate, lower mandatory superannuation for employees and lower labour rates.
Lower superannuation and lower labour rates are not the kind of competitive advantages most countries aspire to.
Up to 1500 Staff to Go in Offshoring Redundancy Drive, Sources Say.
What can companies do to make workers happy and attract the best talent?
According to a report from Deloitte Access Economics in Australia, it’s as simple as having flexible technology policies.
That means letting staff work from home some of the time, allowing them to bring their own devices to the office and to use social media. They also like collaborative tools. Get these things right, says Deloitte, and there’s much less chance your best employees will head off in search of greener pastures.
Deloitte uses financial numbers to show flexible technology policies add up to huge savings, but the real benefit is in being able to keep the most productive workers.
Leading the digital charge?
Americans love fancy job titles. The latest to emerge is chief digital officer or CDO. Here’s how Robert Berkman describes the role in MIT Sloan Management Review:
As social and other digital technologies shift responsibilities in the C-suite, businesses are creating a new position, the chief digital officer or CDO, to focus their digital strategy
Is the title necessary in a world where chief information officers are already looking after technology and helping with company strategy? That point gets answered in the story, so does my next question: Is this just a fad?
Tin-pot companies employ acne ridden youths to fix a handful of desktop computers and allow them to hand out business cards printed with the title CIO. Can we now expect the poor souls who looks after small company Twitter accounts to rebrand themselves as CDOs?
The Emergence of Chief Digital Officers | MIT Sloan Management Review.