Home > Uncategorized > Hong Kong-American Nobel Prize Winner & HK ICT future

Hong Kong-American Nobel Prize Winner & HK ICT future

I’m quite estatic for my newly adopted host city Hong Kong of only 15 months. Although I’ve blogged about the challenges working here giving me fits now and then, a wonderful recognition was recently awarded last Tuesday to Charles Kao, formerly vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the Nobel Prize for Physics shared by fellow physicists Willard Boyle and George Smith, who invented a sensor that is the digital camera’s ‘electronic eye’. Kao won the prize for his pioneering work in fiber optics, which can effortlessly carry trillions of messages around the world. Without which of course, the Internet doesn’t work. Imagine that…I can’t. So it’s a deserving recognition.

Charles Kao

This leads me to write about the opportunity for HK’s ICT industry. It’s at a cross-roads that if not properly paid attention to by the HK Government, private industry and education universities. With this recognition, hopefully it will stir the imagination and focus the energies to this key industry sector to propel Hong Kong forward to new heights. Without the maturation of ICT in people, technology, industry, Hong Kong will be in danger of falling farther behind against it’s rival, Shanghai. This is tightly coupled with HK’s financial sector which is one of the main users of ICT technologies and is extremely influential in shaping ICT utilization. There’s quite a lot of angst (see Naomi Martig’s article) around this topic but HK isn’t like Singapore – which is both good and bad.

The root of the ICT success as an industry lies in its people. To this point, I’m referring to the ability of ICT professionals to use problem-solving and fast analytical assessment to deploy the right ICT technologies for the organization’s success. Not just simply operational success but also business transformational success. I’m not so sure at the moment we’re seeing the latter as much. Even operational success needs a bit of catching up to do as HK ICT professionals are more and more becoming either too expensive or too irrelevant knowledge and skills-wise. This article from the CIO Executive Council republished in Computerworld, Hong Kong edition illustrates many of the issues facing companies looking for HK ICT professionals. Perhaps it’s a bit much to ask for and development time is needed. True enough but nevertheless, business environment is changing, organizations are changing to meet these environmental changes, and last but not least, ICT professionals are global and boundary-less so there’s even more competition for the home-grown HK professional. We can’t afford the lament that University grads are not prepare for IT work.

Let’s see where the future holds for HK….We are certainly living in interesting times!

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