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Government transformation and demand for Linux expertise

Demand for Linux expertise is heating up as governments and enterprises vie for open source expertise.

IT is changing organizations across the globe, impacting enterprises, governments and the wider public sector. Open source in particular is a driver in innovation, giving organizations a competitive edge and an ability to scale and adapt to changing market demands.

According to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report, demand for Linux expertise continues to grow, with hiring managers across a number of industries citing Linux talents as one of the top recruitment priorities this year.

Singapore is one of the key job markets in APAC where IT skills demands are constantly changing.

Governments also a key industry for Linux talents

Unsurprisingly, with more government IT transformation projects under way in Asia Pacific, the need to reinvest in government employees' skills is also on the rise. This may be due to legacy systems, often built on proprietary platforms and supported by IT teams with skill sets limited by the technologies they had to maintain.

In an interview on this with Harish Pillay,he shared an example with the Lotus Notes system, which was adopted by governments throughout southeast Asia over the past 20 years. When the time came for these governments to move to a new and more capable platform, they had to conduct extensive staff retraining for a new tool. Of course, this led to climbing expenditures given the need for new training.

With proprietary systems like Lotus Notes, there is a need to keep learning fixed and limited skills to support proprietary, vendor-specific set ups. Open source knowledge (Linux training) is, generally, highly transferable and can be applied to almost any Linux platform.

This type of interoperability between systems and skills will become a key consideration, for governments and enterprises alike, to ensure that adopting new technologies is as simple and cost-efficient as possible.

Increasing demand for Linux jobs

Hiring managers in both governments and enterprises are bolstering Linux talent plans, according to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report. This report is assembled from a survey taken across 1,100 hiring managers and 4,000 professionals within the Linux space.

In fact, the demand for Linux expertise is so high that salaries are being driven above industry norms, in turn causing these Linux professionals to identify Linux knowledge as a career-advancing tool.

President of technology for professional website Dice, Shravan Goli, explained that enterprises are increasingly describing Linux as core to the business.

The Singaporean government appears to understand the need for local initiatives and frameworks, as the new fair consideration framework has led to increased competition for local IT talent.

"In turn, hiring managers are turning up the dial on the incentives offered to technology talent with Linux skills. These professionals are working on projects tightly aligned with a future vision of what enterprises look like," he said.

Growth in APAC IT talent

The Singaporean government appears to understand the need for local initiatives and frameworks, as the new fair consideration framework has led to increased competition for local IT talent.

This is according to recruiting expert Hays, which also announced a list of the IT skills presently in demand.

"Due to a limited talent pool in the storage, security, cloud or hosted domains, the market is also facing a shortage of technically skilled pre-sales people," said Regional Director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia, Chris Mead. He explained that service management, cloud architecture and process and quality specialist roles were also in high demand.

"We expect the supply shortage of these professionals to continue as businesses are consistently evaluating their IT operations to enable optimal efficiency and a continual improvement of their IT services."

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As governments and enterprises increasingly undertake transformation projects with new open source technologies, the demand for Linux expertise will no doubt mirror these trends.

It is important that IT professionals find the appropriate training that will prove to be a long term asset to them and their organizations. On the other side of this transformation governments should consider local initiatives to support Linux training programs, thus growing the skill base for Linux and other open source standards.


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