Digital disruption has been part of the Australian business lexicon now for at least the last five years, and the data in the latest edition of Australia’s Digital Pulse released last month indicates our businesses and economy are starting to reap the benefits of embracing digital disruption and the adoption of new business models.
The data shows we are in the midst of a digital boom, with more than 40,000 ICT jobs created in the last two years and ICT services exports up 12% to $2.8b on the previous year. You would be working off a really low base to find another Australian sector or industry that can lay claim to almost doubling export revenue over the last four years, as has been the case with ICT services.
Technology is also having a significant impact across all Australian exports with ICT input share of Australia’s goods exports increasing from 4% in 2013 to 7% in 2016.
A key highlight in the 3rd edition of Australia’s Digital Pulse is new economic modelling that shows the adoption of digital technologies has lifted Australia’s GDP by 6.6% over the previous decade – each Australian being $4,663 a year better off (in 2016 dollars).
The contribution of digital technologies to the Australian economy has previously been forecast to grow from $79 billion in 2014 to $139 billion in 2020 -- representing growth of over 75%.
McKinsey has recently added further fuel to this fire by suggesting that digital, based on currently available technology alone, can potentially add another $140-250 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2025.
Naturally, our digital transformation doesn’t just happen -- it needs to be earned.
To that end, Australia’s Digital Pulse highlights some key risks, not least being a shortfall of 82,000 workers in technology jobs needed by 2022. We know that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations, innovations and wage premiums are associated with STEM, yet the performance of Australian students in science and maths has been in steady decline over the last five years.
Australia’s Digital Pulse contains 13 policy priorities to accelerate Australia’s digital future. The opportunities are exciting, and none more so than the potential for a burgeoning cyber security industry.
It is unfathomable to imagine how you can achieve a vibrant and successful digital economy without the underpinning customer trust in your cybersecurity capability. The average cost of a cyber crime to an Australian business exceeds $400,000. Economic modelling suggests that greater investment in cybersecurity by Australian businesses could result in an uplift of 5.5% in business investment, an increase in wages by 2%, and an additional 60,000 people employed by 2030.
The data in Australia’s Digital Pulse is compelling – it is time to double down on digital.