Tourism is beginning to look like our biggest earner for the coming year. The recent drop in the value of the NZ dollar against most major currencies bodes well for the export sector while the latest base rate reduction should be good for businesses in general.
While movement to the Cloud is being considered by the larger organisations, small businesses are becoming acquainted with the Network-Attached Storage or NAS box. Already very popular within the multimedia sector, NAS boxes are well suited to small businesses that wish to back up their data to what are essentially fast, secure “file servers” within their network.
In the last quarter’s editions of current trends we reported that Microsoft were soon to replace Internet Explorer with the new Spartan browser. In late April, the word “Spartan” disappeared to be replaced by the name “Edge”. The word “Spartan” is often used to describe things that are on the minimal side. Microsoft wish their new browser to be perceived as “on the edge of productivity and consumption”. Edge also happens to be the name of the browser’s rendering engine and will be the default Windows 10 browser.
Business confidence seems to have taken a dent recently, as a result of the events in Europe. Greece may be in the forefront but Spain, Portugal and Italy loom large in the background. Europe’s woes are not reflected in the USA where the economy seems to be picking up. Nevertheless, predictions suggest that salaries in general will increase by around 2.5% to 3% in New Zealand this coming year.
Last year saw the highest rate of net immigration to New Zealand ever. Most new Kiwis seem to head for Auckland since it is perceived to be where the work is. We are seeing this reflected in the applications for advertised roles and we are pleased to report that in the last quarter we have placed several recently arrived candidates from The Philippines and from Europe.
Last quarter we commented on the fact that we have been asked to find developers willing to work from home. Traffic woes and increased home-to-work-to-home times are cited more and more during interviews as the key factor in seeking alternative jobs for many Auckland dwellers. Creating a better work life balance for staff helps develop loyalty, while actually reducing financial costs to the organisation. We know of many IT professionals who work increasingly from home and only spend one or two days per week in the office.
The Auckland web development market remains strong with a high and equal demand for either C# or Java web developers with good communication skills. The drive to make websites adaptable and responsive to the differing screen sizes of hardware devices continues at pace. Skilled web developers, especially with digital agency experience, are needed to keep up to date with front-end frameworks, open source e-commerce applications or PHP based platforms.