In a statement following the release of a white paper titled Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World, Australian Information Industry Association chief executive Ron Gauci while the pandemic had presented many opportunities for fast action and leadership, the challenge to get things right was much greater.
“It’s been evident that every industry has found new technologies to make them more productive, efficient, reduce costs, find new markets and compete more aggressively on the global stage," he said.
"This is why there is a real need for governments to look to, and invest in, technology-driven solutions to grow our economy and support job creation. Now is the time to make investment in projects that will re-shape what we do, where and how we do it."
The AIIA's paper focuses on four main areas:
- Building a national digital backbone;
- Building a digital Australia that is secure and resilient;
- Building digital skills for the future; and
- Tax, incentive and government procurement reform.
Said Gauci: "Our future economic prosperity centres on Australia emerging from COVID more resilient and digital to the core. Our economy and workforce needs to transition towards increased digital capabilities, seeking resilience in global and local supply chains while digitising our economy."
Highlighted in the paper is the need for an ecosystem that has strong domestic skills and innovation to support an economy that is globally competitive as digital transformation is undertaken.
IBM Australia chief digital officer and AIIA NSW Chair, Bridget Tracy, said: “Continued digital government investment in IT capability and payments systems should be viewed as nation building infrastructure that aids rapid policy design and is responsive to crises.
“This white paper is designed to provide thoughtful and considered policy inputs to governments covering short term and longer term structural changes to support our digital economy."
Gauci added: “We have a once in lifetime opportunity for major reform and restructure of our economy and society. The AIIA White Paper provides recommendations for governments to consider and adopt.”
The panel that drafted the white paper included senior figures from IBM, Vault, KPMG, Deloitte, SAP Australia, Telstra and Adobe.