10 Insights Into Australian IT Industry and Tech Trends 2020

Australia is known worldwide for the highly developed market economy. Its ongoing success depends much on the ability of local businesses to improve technologically, build new products and discover new markets. We have gathered all tech insights in this article to uncover the future of the Australian IT industry.

1. Modest growth forecast of 2.1% for tech budgets.

Gartner expects technological budgets to grow by 2.1% in corporate and governmental sectors across Australia. This is slightly below the worldwide average of 2.8%, yet the real figures might turn even smaller than the preliminary. Andy Rowsell-Jones, vice-president and distinguished analyst in Gartner’s CIO and Executive Leadership research team, says the high level of uncertainty and lack of innovations in business models has already led to economic plateau.

2. Maturation of digital businesses.

Nearly half of Australian companies submitted reaching a digital maturity point in Gartner’s survey. It means they either have hit over 20% in terms of scale or are already running it for profit. There are two primary ways of routing for digital: robotic process automation (RPA) and digital transformation headed by chief digital officers.

3. Conservative risk appetites for business innovations.

Australia is taken as a much less dynamic economy compared to Southeast Asia and China. While the latter strive to diversificate revenue sources and re-invent businesses, Australian companies appear more mature and focus mostly on customer experience. Besides, they illustrate a rather careful attitude to technological risks and innovations compared to the rest of the world.

4. Business success relies on a highly-skilled workforce in future-focused industries.

Future workforce demand is still hard to forecast. However, one thing is for sure: technologies impact the way Australian companies operate as well as the demand for skilled employees. So far the priority is given to the combination of transferable digital knowledge and creative, problem-solving and communication skills.

In 2019 Australian government announced only migrants working in seven future-focused fields to be eligible for permanent residency under Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP). These fields include:

  • agriculture technology (AgTech)
  • FinTech
  • MedTech
  • space and advanced manufacturing
  • energy and mining technology
  • cybersecurity
  • information and communication technology (ICT: data science, advanced digital and quantum information)

5. Shortage of qualified employees due to rapid tech changes and automation.

Technological influence is likely to be uneven for the job market. Various industries and regions are automating low-qualified work leaving many Australians unemployed or underemployed. Soon the country will face a sharp lack of skills for securing a well-paid job offers.

Thus, government and business should unite efforts and promote opportunities for upskilling, reskilling and transiting skills into new industries. Soon we’ll see a massive shift from career-for-life concept to a culture of lifelong learning.

On the contrary, as digital systems and automation get embraced across all industries, companies meet shortages in key digital skills, including:

  • data management and analysis
  • cybersecurity
  • cloud computing
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • robotics
  • digital and software design
  • advanced mathematics and statistics

6. SMEs are yet to embrace and adopt digital technologies.

Undoubtedly, business capability of digitalization enforces competitiveness, raises revenue, embraces product innovations and creates new job opportunities. However, the adoption level of digital technologies by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remains low due to a number of barriers, including:

  • lack of awareness regarding the benefits
  • lack of resources and time to research and try new technologies
  • low digital skills
  • concerns about costs

Australian government has launched the Small Business Digital Champions initiative to assist small companies in digital engagement. Generally speaking, the main steps to better adopting digital technologies are:

  • upgrade to modern cloud-based solutions
  • use web channels to extend business opportunities
  • adopt emerging technologies as they evolve
  • develop in-house digital expertise

Four Major Tech Trends 2020 for Australia:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI describes various technologies meant to perform without explicit human guidance. It includes automation, machine learning, NLP, computer vision, optimization and decision support to name a few. According to Gartner, adoption of AI technologies is at the 40% level compared to 41% worldwide. Artificial Intelligence is forecasted to add trillions of dollars to the global economy in upcoming decades.

Blockchain

Still an emerging technology, blockchain is applied across many industries and to almost any value transaction. A digital platform of blockchain allows recording, verifying and storing transactions shared across a computer network based on pre-agreed rules. While this excludes the need for authority verification, cryptography keeps transactions secure. In Australia, blockchain technology is used primarily in financial, bank, governmental sectors.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The spread of IoT technology became possible thanks to cheaper and better sensors and increased computing power. Next-generation IoT platforms will integrate innovative and traditional data sources, correlate multiple data inputs and provide real-time analysis. In Australia, we are seeing many examples of IoT uses across industries:

  • Universities are implementing smart campuses to collect data on how spaces are used, monitor study patterns, course attendance and student interactions. Then the data is leveraged to optimise resources, improve student experience, etc.
  • Smart healthcare devices are used by Australian medical authorities to monitor patients and alert about issues.
  • Energy and water infrastructure sector are using sensors to better track and handle the maintenance.
  • Soil sensors help farmers to measure moisture levels and manage water use to improve harvest.

Quantum computing

Australia is recognised as a world leader in silicon-based quantum computing research. This is one of the most promising technologies to build a commercially viable quantum computer. As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, Australian government invested $25 million in the Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd venture, in partnership with business.

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