Digital Capability is Essential for Australia’s recovery and its Economic Roadmap


Australia’s peak industry representative body for innovation technology says that the road to economic recovery is paved with innovation and investment in technology.

A White Paper titled ‘Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World’, released by The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) today, emphasises the need to look beyond traditional infrastructure investment by government with more focus on technology infrastructure.

The AIIA CEO, Ron Gauci said: “The opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic has presented for fast action and leadership are significant but the challenge has never been greater to get it right.

“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. 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,” Mr Gauci said.

The White Paper includes a set of practical and implementable recommendations to state and federal governments, designed to help guide policy development and focus areas for now and the next decade including digital investment priorities, skills and jobs of the future.

Australian Governments were seeking feedback from the AIIA during the course of the COVID pandemic on how the sector was being impacted around jobs, investments and supply chains and more recently seeking advice on policy prescriptions post COVID.

The Paper focuses on four key areas:

  • Building a national digital backbone
  • Building a digital Australia that is secure and resilient
  • Building digital skills for the future
  • Tax, incentive and Government procurement reform.

“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,” Mr Gauci said.

The Paper also highlights the need for a strong domestic skills and innovation ecosystem to support a globally competitive economy while the step change to digital transformation occurs. National resilience and capability includes the critical large investments that multinational corporations make in Australia and the corresponding IP transfer and significant local employment that comes with these investments as well as a supported local SME ecosystem.

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,” Ms Tracy said.

Ron Gauci concluded: “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 AIIA Whitepaper Steering Committee included representation of senior figures from IBM, Vault Cloud, KPMG, Deloitte, SAP Australia, Telstra and Adobe.

The AIIA is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fuelling Australia’s future social and economic prosperity through technology innovation.