The Australian technology industry is one of the country’s most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors.
It is an integral part of the economy, employing more than 1 million people in almost every state and territory. There are now more than 8,700 tech companies in Australia, collectively worth $100 billion. The tech sector directly employs about 450,000 people and generates around 7% of the nation’s GDP.
To put it simply, the future of Australia as a high-performance 21st century economy depends on its ability to compete globally as a leading digital nation. The strength of any ecosystem comes from its ability to bring together different players that can work towards common goals
Digital transformation in Australia
Digital transformation is the process of changing business models, management approaches and work cultures to fully exploit new technologies. It is a journey that all organizations must go through, but the key is to get it right.
Australian tech news CEO Mr, Giannelis says while Australia has been a leader in some areas of technology, including health and financial services, it has also fallen behind in other sectors, including education, online commerce and data management.
“There is no single reason why Australia has fallen behind in these areas. It is a confluence of factors, including poor government policy, poor regulatory environments, lack of investment in research and development and a lack of skills in the labor force.” said Mr Giannelis
Australia’s competitive advantage
Australia’s unique geographic position between Asia and the Americas gives the nation a distinct competitive advantage. As an English-speaking nation, it has easy access to Asian markets.
At the same time, it is a logical place for organizations in North and South America to put their regional headquarters. And Australia’s diverse landscape and wide range of ecosystems means the country is well-placed to capture the benefits of digital transformation across all sectors.
The role of digital skills in the Australian economy
According to Mr Giannelis Australia’s future prosperity depends on the country taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital transformation.
“This means that businesses and government need to have the right people with the right skills to lead this transformation effort.” said Giannelis
A report by the Australian Human Capital Review found that Australia is currently facing a significant shortfall of digital skills that has the potential to disrupt its economic future.
As the Australian economy shifts away from industries that have been the primary drivers of job creation in the past, such as resources and manufacturing, and towards digital-enabled services and products, the country will need to have the right people with the right skills to lead this transition.
What is currently holding back the growth of the Australian technology industry?
The Australian government has a checkered past when it comes to technology. Over the last decade, the country has made significant commitments to growing its technology sector. But some of these commitments were not well-thought-out and significant sums of money were wasted.
The government currently holds a significant amount of equity in organizations such as NBN, but this is unlikely to yield significant dividends any time soon, if ever. The Australian government has also been accused of not understanding blockchain technology and not doing enough to promote it in Asia
AI and Robotics in Australia
There is a lot of hype around AI and robotics, but Australia is well placed to take advantage of these new technologies. While the growth of AI and robotics has been uneven across different sectors, there are a number of areas where the commercial transformation is beginning to take place.
The most obvious example is in healthcare, where AI is beginning to be used to assist and diagnose doctors, while robotics is being used to look after patients in aged care facilities. Other sectors are also looking to include AI and robotics to transform their business models, including mining and logistics, agriculture, financial services, education and retail
There is no doubt that the global tech industry is undergoing significant transformation and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. What is less certain is how each country and each sector will respond to these changes.
The Australian government has a significant role to play in supporting the growth of the technology industry across the country. It needs to develop a coherent national strategy to help the sector flourish and create new high-paying jobs in 2022