Besides having experienced a dramatic decline in IT jobs during the past five years, Sydney is also fast losing ground as Australia's IT hub, according to a study conducted by Monash University's Centre for Population and Urban Research.
Researchers Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy and Paul Smith analysed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and found a decline of nearly 16,000 computer servicing jobs in Sydney since the turn of the millennium, compared to a decline of about 2700 jobs in Melbourne
And while Melbourne has maintained its national share of about 27 percent of all IT jobs in Australia, Sydney's share has dropped from nearly 41 percent in 2000-2001 to 34 percent this year.
Healy attributed the nationwide decline in IT jobs to a number of factors, including millennium bug fears and the Sydney Olympics in 2000, which could have led to a boom, and subsequent collapse, in the employment of IT staff.
The July 2000 introduction of the Goods and Services Tax in Australia could also have contributed to the boom, as most companies had to either install new accounting programs, or modify their existing business software to be able to conduct business under the new GST regime.
In addition to GST and the millennium bug, which are expected to have affected all Australian cities similarly, Sydney's population has declined and a move towards the outsourcing of IT services, which Healy says could be contributing factors to its loss of national share of Australian IT jobs.
"I suppose in the first place, there does tend to be a higher concentration of high-end servicing jobs in Sydney relative to the rest of the country," he says.
"The decline in national share may be simply to do the fact that the population is growing rapidly in other parts of Australia, whereas the population growth in Sydney has slowed right down."
Meanwhile, Nortel Networks has set up a network management centre in Delhi, India, to service its customers worldwide.
The centre is to provide network management, technology transformation and hosted application services for multi-vendor, multi-technology telecommunications networks serving both local and multinational companies, Nortel says.
Nortel already runs similar centres in London and Raleigh, North Carolina. The company's decision to locate a centre in India was based on the easy availability of low-cost talent, says Ravi Chauhan, Nortel’s managing director for India. Having a centre in India will also enable Nortel to better offer round-the-clock support to global customers, he added.
India’s telecommunications market is also booming, as more than six million new mobile phone subscribers are being added each month. One of India’s leading service providers, Bharti Airtel already uses hosted contact centre services and an interactive voice response technology from Nortel to provide customers with a virtual, multilingual storefront for ordering new services and completing routine transactions. Nortel hopes to sign up more customers in India soon, Chauhan says.
Other telecommunications companies including Nokia have also set up network operations centres in India. As well, Hewlett-Packard has recently opened an SOA centre in Bangalore, one of five worldwide.