• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business


    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?


    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions


    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites


  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5


    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • Industry, Opinion - Written by on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 14:24 - 1 Comment

    The Australian IT sector needs a stronger voice

    loudspeaker

    This article in relation to Delimiter’s call for an Australian technology policy think tank is by Matthew Griffiths, chief executive of Broadreach Services, a leading Australian dedicated video conferencing and digital media managed services provider. Griffiths has been an active participant across the tech sector in Australia for the past 10+ years, with involvement in the Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) Program as well as in Commercialisation Australia.

    opinion The Australian IT industry has an image problem.

    The biggest issue we face is the misconception about the whole industry, particularly its size and impact. This is because it is largely hidden from view … the majority of employee in IT work as micro businesses, start-ups, and independent contractors, or in departments in other businesses (such as banks, miners, and government departments).

    The Australian Computer Society suggests that the ICT sector employs over 540,000 people in Australia, working inside over 30,000 businesses. Of the 500,000 employees, approximately 250,000 work in IT support functions in other industries.
    By way of contrast, the Australia automotive industry is easy to measure, highly visible, and easy to access (Ford, Holden, Toyota and then some parts suppliers). It is also extremely effective at lobbying, with measurable success.

    This is important with regards to government policy and thinking.

    Anecdotally, the government will pay approx. $30,000 to $50,000 to create or save each sustainable job. Thus 1,000 job losses in the Illawarra converts into a $30m Regional Investment Fund. Saving 3,500 jobs at Ford equates to a $103m subsidy on new product lines. On a larger scale, saving an 80,000 person auto industry (45,000 direct employees – including approximately 3,000 at Ford) justifies over $6 billion of subsidies over time.

    The IT industry in Australia is over ten times the size of the automotive industry.
    In terms of challenges and existential threats, there is also no contest – the challenges facing individuals and companies in the Australian IT industry are far larger.

    IT jobs can be outsourced (and offshored) at very little cost; efficiencies and new technologies cut swathes through the industry every few years. Skills become obsolete in years not decades, and to create a sustainable competitive position requires true innovation and competition in a global market. Partly as a consequence, the average IT worker is highly skilled, and retrains constantly … even so jobs are constantly under threat from new technologies and cheaper resources.

    In a recent ACS employment survey, almost 25 percent of respondents had experienced some form of unemployment in the past five years (9 percent in the past 12 months); over 75 percent worked over 40 hours per week; and almost three quarters believe they will need further significant professional development in the next one to two years.

    Just based on these ACS statistics, possibly 100,000 Australian IT jobs are “under threat” at any given time, with outsourcing, short term contracts, market testing, efficiency gains, and the uptake of new technologies all creating uncertainties in the market.

    As an industry, we have significant structural issues, and are also affected by a lot of the same issues Australian manufacturers care about; from a strong dollar, expensive labour, and cheaper competitors. In the face of this, the Australian IT industry innovates, retrains, and continues to grow — all without significant government support and subsidies.

    However, there are many areas for improvement; from under-writing angel investment and employee stock ownership plans in technology start-ups, and helping SME’s to access bank credit, through to accelerating technology innovation and adoption in the public sector (cloud computing, etc.) Australia could do a lot better.

    The call for a technology policy think tank is opportune and probably long overdue. The Australian IT industry is a massive industry, a huge success story for Australia, and well deserving of its own voice.

    submit to reddit

    1 Comment

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Peter Carr
      Posted 05/12/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

      I like the sentiment but hyper competition for every dollar (driven by our industry demographics) means we have driven our own cost-based grave. The collective “we” of IT are cannibals. And who trusts a cannibal?

      That doesn’t mean there isn’t money, investment, value and growth to be found. The fact that IT is in every industry also doesn’t mean there is a ubiquitous threat.

      It therefore also doesn’t mean there is a collective sector to support as the existence of multiple and disparate codified IT associations suggests. By their very charters they are self-serving to subcategories of “IT”.

      So which parts of the complex supply-chain need saving? Which parts get the investment funding? The part with the loudest lobby groups? How do you means-test an IP-based sector? Just blue collar IT jobs (typically those targeted for sourcing)? Why? Isn’t it white collar IT jobs that “create” value and long term economic benefit?

      And what’s wrong with sourcing whether its here or overseas? Doesn’t that ultimately help the organisations we serve? In terms of sourcing is it the value created by Australian IT workers for their employers or the high labour costs that is the bigger challenge for Australia?

      I’m not convinced any of the GMs, CEOs or other significant influencer roles I do or don’t support in business have ever differentiated. And the fact that there are only about half a million IT workers supporting all the companies in Australia means we are very short-staffed and resourcing will get even tighter. There is an equal argument to welcome outsourcing in order to drive economic growth by freeing up the valuable resources we have.

      Free market economics has always defined the sector and I think the debate will always be philosophical. Occasionally it drifts towards the ethical during low economic cycles. I also think a national IT think tank is a conceptually flawed idea, especially where “investment” generation would be its focus. We have bigger problems than finding money.

      Adoption of IT and not innovation is a far greater challenge for most companies today.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content


  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal turbosmart

      Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

  • Enterprise IT, News - Apr 17, 2014 16:39 - 0 Comments

    NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal

    More In Enterprise IT


    News, Telecommunications - Apr 17, 2014 11:01 - 151 Comments

    Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners

    More In Telecommunications


    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 1 Comment

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry


    Digital Rights, News - Apr 17, 2014 12:41 - 15 Comments

    Anti-piracy lobbyist enjoys cozy email chats with AGD Secretary

    More In Digital Rights