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Needs, challenges, opportunities: HP study delves into the world of creatives

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 19 Dec 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

HP has released a new study that looks at creatives in Australia - their perspective on the current job market, the role of technology, and evolving demands and skillsets.

According to the findings, 8 in 10 creatives are concerned about staying relevant in an evolving workplace and 92% recognise the need to boost their skills to compete on a global stage.

Another key finding was that 7 in 10 creatives are investing heavily in technology, acknowledging the role of technology in helping to future-proof their skills.

HP Australia’s Creatives of the Future report looks at the needs of today’s creatives, the skills challenges facing the industry and the opportunities that come with a more connected world.

HP Australia commissioned global research and analytics consultancy firm, Edelman Intelligence, to survey over 150 design and technical creative professionals, as well as more than 100 IT decision-makers within the industry. Design creatives were defined as those in roles including graphic designer, art director and civil designer, while technical creatives included UI/UX designers, 3D animators and CAD designers.

According to HP ANZ director of personal systems Ken Maher, businesses across all industries, including Australia’s $100 billion creative industry, are facing new challenges that come with the shifting dynamics of today’s workplace.

He says, “Australia has long been a test bed for creativity. Whether it be animating the latest Hollywood blockbuster or asking consumers to share their bottle of Coca-Cola, Australian creativity is well-known and respected across the globe.

“HP’s Creatives of the Future report shines a spotlight on the importance of revitalising skills, and the role technology plays in providing Australia’s creatives with the freedom to create anywhere, anytime, for any job across the world.”

The role of technology

Australia’s creative industry continues to undergo change, from new approaches to design and new ways of working, to the globalisation of the industry, HP states.

In the face of this evolution, HP Australia’s Creatives of the Future report found that technology plays a significant role as the enabler of creativity. Almost all creatives surveyed (91%) believe the right technology is key to producing higher quality outputs, and critical to the success of their business.

In fact, close to the same number of creatives (89%) agree they must always be up-to-date on the latest technology, and they’re walking the walk with 71% reporting they invest heavily in technology to support their work.

Despite this, concerns remain. Four in ten creatives (41%) feel uncomfortable with the speed at which they are required to adapt to new technologies entering the industry.

This, coupled with the fact that 80% of creative professionals are concerned about staying relevant in today’s evolving workplace, reveals the need for the community to continuously upskill, HP states.

HP Australia’s Creatives of the Future report also uncovered differing comfort levels between creatives and IT decision-makers when it comes to the pace of technological change hitting the industry.

Maher says, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, while 85% of IT decision-makers feel prepared for change, 77% of creatives feel the same. As technology continues to drive the growth of Australia’s creative industry, there is a distinct role IT decision-makers can play in helping creatives arm themselves with the tools and skills they need to change the boundaries of what is possible and bring their creative visions to life.”

Changing workplaces

The dynamic of the workplace is shifting fast in Australia, with the creative industry at the face, HP’s study shows.

According to the company, today we work where we want, when we want, how we want, no longer living in eight-hour blocks of work, rest and play.

Creative professionals who are always working to push the boundaries of what’s possible understand that inspiration doesn’t just happen in one place or between the hours of 9 to 5, HP states.

Meanwhile, millennials are expected to make up more than half the workforce in the next three years, demanding a workplace that allows them to move effortlessly between physical and virtual work environments.

According to HP Australia’s Creatives of the Future report, over half of Australia’s creative professionals (55%) work from home, with one-in-five working from client offices (20%) and another 16% creating from shared work environments.

With 92% of creatives surveyed believing technology should enable virtual working, these expectations are only set to grow.

Having both technology and the right skills is key to accelerating workflow and ensuring professionals can create at the speed of their ideas.

More opportunities

Not only are creatives on the move but their opportunities are now borderless, HP states.

A film can be shot in London, VFX added through a studio in Sydney, and edited in Vancouver. Creative professionals today need technologies that empowers them to seek new skills and take full advantage of opportunities that lie beyond Australia’s shores – and 89% of Australian creatives surveyed agree, HP states.

However, HP Australia’s Creatives of the Future report found that 1 in 10 Australian creatives name global competition as the number one challenge facing the industry.

Creative professionals are beginning to realise that having the latest and greatest in technology can only take them so far. As new capabilities are introduced, creatives will need to arm themselves with knowledge and expertise on getting the most out of these new technologies to remain competitive at a global scale, states HP.

In fact, while 92% of creatives believe they need to expand their skillsets to compete globally, currently only 44% will actively seek out learning opportunities.

Creatives are, by nature, collaborative beings and understand the power of bringing together the best people to create the best ideas. The report found that 88% of Australian creatives surveyed desire to be part of a global creative community to expand their skills and keep ahead of developments within the industry.

The research for the report was conducted by Edelman Intelligence in June 2019, with participants located across the country.

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