Wednesday, 17 June 2020 11:18

AIIA calls for focus on digital initiatives after pandemic ends Featured

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Ron Gauci: "Now is the time to make investment in projects that will re-shape what we do, where and how we do it." Ron Gauci: "Now is the time to make investment in projects that will re-shape what we do, where and how we do it." Supplied

The peak industry representative body for innovation technology in Australia has underlined the need to look beyond traditional infrastructure investment by the government after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, adding that there should, instead, be more focus on technology infrastructure.

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.

The white paper was written in response to feedback requests from the government as to how the sector was being affected by the pandemic and seeking advice on how things should proceed post-COVID.

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.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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