ACS says IT industry needs to be more professional

Australian Computer Society (ACS) today called on the domestic $90 billion ICT industry to be more overtly professional in its approach to ensure its reputation is secured and productivity gains are captured effectively in the next decade.

President Philip Argy said that, for Australia to keep pace internationally, it must raise the standard and be professional in the global marketplace.

"We must reduce the risks associated with major technology projects in Australia to ensure we capture the maximum economic benefits from spending on ICT goods and services as well as promote the sector's reputation," he said.

"Technology underpins the productivity and performance of the nation's corporations and thousands of small-to-medium enterprises and its influence is becoming more pervasive in both the home and the office. Our Australian ICT industry will face significant challenges in the next decade from rapid advances in technology."

Argy said that the way to reduce risk associated with technology projects is to ensure that high standards of professionalism are applied across the ICT industry.

"This means you need to be sure that the ICT people you use on a project have the appropriate ICT credentials so you know they have the expertise to do the job effectively and with a professional approach," Argy said. "Because technology is moving so fast, the ACS believes ICT workers need to undertake professional development programs every year to keep pace." The Australian technology industry employs more than 200,000 people and is a significant contributor to the nation's GDP.

Argy said the hallmarks of professionalism in the ICT industry consist of a blend of technical competence, a rigorous approach to executing projects successfully, and an appreciation of the social and ethical issues as part of the public interest.

"We know Australian ICT professionals can compete with the best in the world; the only way to create a powerful Australian ICT brand is for everyone in the local industry to pull their weight," Argy said. "It only takes a few lapses on major ICT projects in Australia and our brand is damaged. The sky is the limit for our ICT market if we mix our considerable intellectual abilities and technical skills with the rigorous application of a code of professional conduct."

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