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South Australia sets IT benchmarks: AIIA

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has accredited the South Australian Government with setting a new benchmark for all states and territories looking to establish leading economies based on the intelligent application of technology.

AIIA CEO, Suzanne Campbell, says the launch of the state's new strategic plan by South Australian premier, Mike Rann, recognises e-commerce at the highest level of strategic planning in South Australia, and is an important development in economic positioning.

The inclusion of the e-commerce target in South Australia's state plan follows the Federal Government's recently announced goal of placing Australia in the top 5 OECD countries in the world by the percentage of businesses online.

Campbell called on all Australian governments to adopt this approach to the development of the digital economy, and said that 'raising the online presence of businesses is an exemplary way to diversify the economy, maximise competitiveness, grow revenues and increase productivity in South Australia.'

'It is a very smart move for South Australia to get ahead of the curve. States that lead take-up will have a leading share of the rewards. Online spending is growing rapidly. That is where customers are - that is where Australian businesses need to be.'

According to the AIIA, past studies by IBM have estimated that up to 92 percent of Australian consumers want to use websites to compare prices, and PayPal estimates that Australian online retail spending will rise from $24 billion in 2009 to $33 billion in 2012, yet, 40 percent of spending goes overseas compared to only 10 percent in the United States.

'Online business presence not only opens up new markets locally, within Australia and overseas, it also provides cheaper and more effective advertising as consumers increasingly turn to online services to research their spending,' Campbell says.

'Taking your business online means you don't have to be located in a main-street urban area to compete. You can be anywhere, and you can employ the best staff by allowing them to work remotely. It opens up a huge range of options for small business in Australia.'

The AIIA has called on government to take 'similar measures to ensure citizen and consumer confidence online, and to lead by example through internet-based initiatives ranging from service delivery to citizen consultation.'

Campbell said the AIIA welcomed opportunities to partner with government and the business sector to maximise the opportunities presented by the digital economy in Australia.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).