Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Australian ICT Industry- In need of vision & structure for success!

Mostly Australian ICT businesses have been known for their professionalism and maturity in service delivery! However unlike our nations closest allies, the US, we are not known for having a booming software industry or as an incubator for some of the finest  innovations the world has seen!

While we are blessed with an abundant source of creative talent, world class engineering schools, some of the best software developers in the world and a highly respected brand globally, where are we lacking?? Why aren't we creating greater value and impact as we do for instance at the Olympics, Financial markets, where we take on the best in the world ? or even as a highly regarded global economy, where our currency out performs even the best? Why not in the field of ICT ? We are a respected nation and should hold our own in the global technology industry..

In my opinion we are hindered in 2 significant ways !
1) Political Leadership & Government Policy
2) Business Models of Australian co's constrained by their dependency on "Australian" resources

In this blog I will focus on Political Leadership & Government Policy

Consistent governments have failed in the area of policy to provide incentives, a holistic environment, and the required support structures for individuals, small & large business to focus on software and ICT innovation. The US is the best example for having a climate of innovation, Silicon Valley is perhaps the most successful "Industrial Cluster" created in the history of the world. As a result the Silicon Valley has created TRILLIONS of dollars in value and wealth to the American people. It has created hundreds of global super powers from mere tech start-ups!!!! The likes of Apple, Yahoo, Google, Cisco, Adobe, eBay, Intel, Sun, the list continues...

After all these years with the success of Silicon Valley, an industrial cluster for technology glaring at our faces, I am still non plussed, the penny has not dropped upon consecutive Australian governments. Why is it we have NOT studied this model that can be replicated in our country!  We have the resources! and the creativity.. If $10B of the investment on NBN project and 25% of the national focus on it was  diverted for this cause, I am convinced multiple hundreds of billion dollars of value and wealth would have been created for the Australian economy and people.

Even nations like Ireland, India & Costa Rica have set up ITclusters and industrial frameworks to ride on the growth of  Information Technology, related products and services around the world.
Indian Co's such as Infosys, TATA, WIPRO and hundreds of others have benefited by concerted national focus on IT, Software Development & Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Today, they are global IT Conglomerates with revenues in billions of dollars. Smaller & mid sized Irish & Indian companies are winning significant business around the world. India today in no more the  "cheap source for software developers but have some of the best software houses in the world".

Irish ICT / Software companies enjoy tremendous government support. On the invitation of the Irish Government I once  addressed around 70 leaders of Irish Software industry on "Australian ICT Market Place". I and others were taken to Ireland as guests to provide expert opinion, and local knowledge on entry into different markets around the world! I was impressed how the Irish government agencies were set up to assist in the growth of these Technology companies, from start-up capital, to subsidized office space, to management training to International marketing...

As a nation why do we continued to be a slightly "lazy country" dependent on a mining lead economy? when we can with the right support build industries that can propel our economy well beyond the mining boom, be world beaters as we continue to do in many spheres.

Australian Industry bodies must act, are they asleep on the wheel as well?

Dinesh De Silva is CEO of Nexgroup Asia Pacific, he and his team are available to speak to media , organisations or groups as a keynote / guest speaker on above. Contact him +612 8003 3342, via twitter @dineshdesilva or 

NexGroup Asia Pacific, is a World Class Outsourcing business, providing Software development & Accounting, Finance and Legal BPO Services.

Technical Skills : Java, Microsoft Dot Net, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Android, Iphone,  CA Service Desk, CA ITSM,  CA NSM,, Spectrum, , eHealth. 
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1 comment:

  1. Dinesh, I share your sentiments on government policies and support for a sustainable ICT ecosystem -- in the Philippines, we have been working not just with the government sector but the academe to develop this "Silicon Valley" in our region for the past years. It's very challenging, but everybody has a part to play. We dropped you a DM in Twitter, if you'll be joining CeBIT... are you? I'd like to invite you to join the PH IT BPO forum.