Cambodia’s Digital/IT Workforce Of The Future

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In March 2023, ESTIAM Cambodia and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) hosted an event in Phnom Penh to discuss the future of the Kingdom’s IT workforce by bringing together IT/Digital professionals & experts, to discuss the future of the industry’s workforce.

Under the theme of ‘Shaping the IT Workforce of the Future’, three roundtable debates covered a range of topics related to emerging technologies, IT security and cybersecurity, and remote work in the IT industry.

These debates were moderated by Mr. Frédéric H. Proulx, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chairman.

Before the event, Thierry Riga, General Manager of ESTIAM Cambodia said:  “We believe that the future of IT lies in its workforce, and that’s what this event is all about. We want to create a platform for professionals to discuss and share their views on the direction of the IT workforce and help shape the future of the industry.”

Among the panellists in attendance were:

  • Mr. Kirill Bratchenko – CEO of Biplan Global and Co-Chairman of AmCham ICT committee
  • Mr. Olivier Comes – President of ESTIAM, IT Graduate Professional School
  • Mr. Pierre Joye – (PHP Core Dev), Fractional CTO, Founder, Engineer, Opensource Speaker
  • Mr. Jean Sébastien Dionne – Specialist in Digital Project Management
  • Mr. Florian Berta – CEO of Silkwires Digital Agency
  • Mr. Tuy Chandara – CEO of Wonderpass Technologies
  • Mr. Jeff Laflamme – Co-Founder & CTO of Haystack Labs / Wonderpass Technologies, and more speakers to be announced.

Three roundtable discussions were on the topics of:

  1. Emerging Tech IT
  2. IT Security and cybersecurity
  3. Remote Work and the future of IT

Opportunities in Tech and the Digital Workforce in Cambodia

B2B Cambodia spoke to some of the panellists to hear their views on the opportunities in tech and the digital workforce in Cambodia:

Mr. Pierre Joye – PHP Core Dev, Fractional CTO, Founder, Engineer, Opensource Speaker

Mr. Joye says he always loved computers and gaming and got into programming early on but has been involved in many aspects of development in his career.

Mr. Joye told B2B Cambodia that in the past for developing countries, it was those with the financial resources who could more easily access the means to learn but he feels now that is not the case.

With the Cambodian government and finance sector doing a good job, he feels there is easier and better access to information online via the Internet (which is relatively affordable and easily accessible in the Kingdom) and that is up to an individual or business to be motivated to learn and how tech can benefit them or their business.

With regards to tools like ChatGPT, he sees the benefits of how easy it is to get information in a quick way (which could also be a risk when getting information on individuals) but he sees the benefits of using AI for risk analysis and identifying loopholes and bugs too.

Mr. Kirill Bratchenko – CEO of Biplan Global and Co-Chairman of AmCham ICT Committee

Mr. Bratchenko works for Biplan Global which has been operating for more than a decade and is a system integrator and solutions provider. They mostly work with banks and finance providers but are looking to expand to other sectors wanting to embrace the digital journey.

He believes there are great opportunities in edutech in Cambodia and encourages those entering the tech space to be open-minded and adaptable as tech can change very quickly.

Mr. Bratchenko added that Cambodia can benefit by bypassing implementing and installing old systems and can utilise new tech and that the government and private companies are both open to trying new things when it comes to tech and digitalisation.

In terms of the current workforce in Cambodia, he said that this remains a big challenge for companies (including his own) and this lies on the supplier and customer side due to the rapid digitalisation here. This applies to the skillsets in the workforce and the growing pains the country will go to as there are not enough resources currently.

On the topic of AI, which has dominated the news in 2023 in the business and tech space, he feels that there may be some people who will lose their line of work but not due to AI, but rather to people who have better adapted to using the various Artificial Intelligence tools that will be available. “It will change our lives but it will create different jobs”.

Mr. Olivier Comes – President of ESTIAM, IT Graduate Professional School

ESTIAM is a higher education school which specialised in IT with more than a dozen campuses globally. President of the French school, Mr. Olivier Comes, said he has been impressed by Cambodia and sees education as a key part of the infrastructure of the nation.

He feels that education can be a key accelerator of Cambodia’s growth and agreed that Cambodia doesn’t have as many legacy tech issues which would otherwise slow down the progress and implementation of tech adoption and digitalisation.

In terms of a profession, its a passion for many students to be involved in tech and they know that they are choosing a profession they will be studying their whole lives due to the changes within technology.

Data scientists and AI have become key trending skills and he added that digital tech has infiltrated every domain and is used in every business sector including in Cambodia but although the demand is there for the workforce it will take time to train the right people with the skillsets needed.

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