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In the race to digitize skills lose their strength in large SA banks

Serious lack of computer skills south Africa He left his main banks fighting for a limited pool of people with the skills needed to improve technology platforms and keep pace with changing customer requirements and competition from new rivals.

The four largest lenders in the country – Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and FirstRand – told Reuters that it is difficult to get access to the skills needed for rapid digitization – responding to the growing demand for online and mobile banking and the emergence of only digital banking host to steal their customers with smart applications and price reductions.

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All four have stated that they have taken a number of actions to address shortfalls, including changing employment strategies, for example implementing "fast dating" events, where a large number of candidates are interviewed briefly and develop training programs.

But in some cases, the lenders said that the employment lasts for months and they pay higher and higher wages to gain talents.

The problem is particularly acute for jobs that did not exist a few years ago, such as cloud engineers, said Alpheus Mangale, Information Director at the Standard Bank Group.

In September last year, he said that the bank wanted to employ 12 such engineers to ensure that their cloud systems were ready to work and looked after their daily maintenance.

"We probably have about 40% of this because skills simply do not exist … on the market," he said.

Banks can expect a 20-30% bonus when they find such skills, he added.

Acuity Consultants' specialist recruitment agency reported that remuneration for software developers increased by up to 30% over the last year.

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Thando Lukhele, director of the department in the group technology department of Nedbank, also said that filling roles may take months, and the bank paid extra for new employment. Absa and the FirstRand retail unit reported similar problems.

Bank issues emphasize how the lack of skills complicates some of them south AfricaThe ability of the largest companies to compete, which makes adaptation to technological and market changes more time-consuming and costly.

There is a lack of such skills in the world, and McKinsey estimates that the demand for technological skills will increase by 55% by 2030. Based on the analysis focusing on the United States and Western Europe.

But Yossi Hasson, co-founder of the WeThinkCode_ non-profit technology school, said the problem was increased south Africa problems in public education, limited access to the Internet and computers, and the fact that people with skills are often taken abroad by global companies.

Banks, many of whom sponsor WeThinkCode_ with companies, from information organizations to Nandos, have tried a number of other steps to attract or develop talent.

Standard Bank & # 39; s Mangale said it created training programs from Amazon and Microsoft, as well as internal programs and partnerships with universities or technical schools, and initiatives to retrain existing employees.

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The bank, he said, decided that it should not rely on other institutions to create skills whose presence was becoming ever greater for companies from all sectors:

"The use of technology and the use of all emerging technology … is the essence of how organizations win or lose in the market."

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