2013 Central Recommendation

australia-wordmap1.jpgAustralia’s future economic success is dependent on the timely and effective use of technology. The global transformation towards the digital economy creates opportunities and threats for our nation. Despite having many of the key inputs, Australia has been relatively slow to position itself for this transformation.

The ICT sector needs to take a leadership role in influencing the uptake of Digital Technologies to assist the nation position itself in this regard. This Australia 3.0 initiative involving public discussion is but one vehicle for the industry to demonstrate such leadership.

Seen in historical terms, the advent of the global Digital Economy should be seen as no less significant than the Industrial Revolution or the introduction of electricity. Australia is comparatively well placed to excel in the Digital Economy. We boast a knowledge capable workforce, a natural innovative mindset, relative economic strengths coming out of the GFC. But we also face some significant inhibitors in adopting these new technologies.

How the rate of adoption of Digital Innovation will impact upon Australia’s economic health coming out of the next major wave of global economic development, is in the hands of its citizens. Can the ICT sector play a significant leadership role in shaping the nation’s transformation towards the emerging digital economy?

Anything that can be done should be done to lift the rate of Digital Innovation across the whole economy.

The most effective intervention will activate rich existing networks to develop digital leadership skills in Boards, business leaders and government executives to enhance Australia’s adoption of Digital Economic business practices. 

Now is the most cost effective time to intervene. Not too early. Not yet too late.

Each of the sectors engaged through the Australia 3.0 forum have identified the common need to enhance the rate of uptake of technology appropriate to their specific needs. (Please refer to the sector specific communiqués for detailed sectoral recommendations).

a)   Government Services

Government services take a unique position in the economy acting as both example and catalyst to broader economic efficiency. Governments at all levels have prioritised innovation. This has too frequently been limited to replicating existing services online. Innovation is occurring too slowly, and too shallowly to achieve desired productivity benefits. Government needs to develop advanced capacities for taking on deeper systemic innovation that delivers digital economy style efficiency outcomes.

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b)  Health

Technology adoption in service delivery (eg: Telehealth), consumer empowerment (eg: education, mobile apps marketplace, etc) and other areas, has the potential to reframe health sector economics. This may be the only way to achieve sustainably affordable levels of universal affordable healthcare in the Australian context. Intervention and seeding by government is required to enable this to occur at scale and in a timely manner.

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c)   Infrastructure

The increased systemic use of technological solutions, and information rich management techniques has the capacity to significantly extend the value and function achieved from Australia’s investment in infrastructure. The benefits that have been demonstrated in isolated projects from requirements, design, through to extended asset life could have enormous benefits to Australia’s Infrastructure portfolio if systemically applied.

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d)   Mining

Significant investments in technology made during the mining boom will achieve optimal results if there is parallel investment in government and cross-industry collaboration, training and management techniques. Recommendations cover the topics of knowledge sharing, innovation collaboration, standards development and skills development.

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Sentiment expressed in the debate to date indicates that the digital economy style of economic progress highlighted in these four sectors, has the potential to be promoted across the whole of the Australian economy.  One possibility would be to provide seed funding for the commercial NFP operation of a specialist centre to raise the digital leadership capabilities of Australia’s industry leaders in all sectors, and across every size of organisation. The initiative should operate as an exemplar of a new model of a digital economy active, community engaging, leveraged, disruptive “start-up” under appropriate and impeccable independent industry-based governance. Another possibility could be to establish a Digital Economy Economics studies centre to provide quantitative and qualitative data, advice, studies to government and industry and built upon existing academic capabilities across the nation.

Australia 3.0 Communique 2013 Central Recommendations_tmb

Australia 3.0 Communique 2013 Central Recommendations

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