Australian culture drives digital innovation

Expert Opinion

Australian culture drives digital innovation

Soren Reichelt March 10, 2016
Australian culture drives digital innovation

Australians are embracing digital innovation, and we’re doing it more than most. As a nation, we’re ranked 2nd in the world for our adoption of cloud despite our comparatively small population, which shows that when it comes to tech we’re definitely not scared to give it a crack.

 

Apps are also now a part of everyday life for most people, and a great indicator of this is the fact that 11.5 million Australians have a Facebook account! The other day I even went so far as to purchase tracking bands for my wrists and feet – delivering health data back to my iPhone live. Cool, right?

 

As we adopt technology to make our lives easier at home, the flow-on effect is felt within our working life as well. We demand technology that works and we increasingly look at old, manual processes with disgust. To borrow a phrase, it is certainly an exciting time to be in Australian ICT.

 

In 2010, the industry accounted for around 4.6% of our GDP and contributed a 4.9% Value Add; however, what most people don’t realise is that those figures actually boast a larger contribution than mining. Now with over 400,000 people working in the sector, we’re the 11th largest in the world. So the question is, does Australian Culture influence the technology industry? Or is the industry influencing our culture?

 

With such a short history in comparison to most developed nations, “old money” isn’t as prevalent in Australian society. Instead we generally rely on the banks and 90 terms to fund our businesses. This is definitely driving the “access over ownership” surge, with businesses avoiding capital as we move to consumption-based “as a Service” models. Although we change the conversation, any business will look to cost reduction as a favourable outcome. Culturally though, we dig innovation and change quickly when we need to – at least here in Melbourne, maybe that can be chalked up to the temperamental weather!

 

As Australians we don’t mind buttoning down, working hard and supporting the underdog. Technology is levelling the playing field, and it’s lowering the barriers for small business. We like to solve problems, so when they arise we don’t hesitate to get stuck in! Although decision cycles can often be quite long, businesses are now shifting the mindset faster to consumption based services. We trust, we help and for the most part, we all strive to improve the lifestyle our vast land affords. 

 

80% of Australian Companies are now using cloud applications, and our digital economy continues to grow rapidly. Newly available technology like the national broadband network and 4G services only push our adoption further, as technology helps us help ourselves. You can’t help but think that this just the tip of the iceberg, and it suggests that our culture has a huge impact on the rate of adoption. Digital innovation is driving the massive cultural shift towards flexible working, as well as our huge start-up scene, and the explosion of ecommerce businesses. If Australian culture is influencing the tech industry, it’s within the ongoing shift from talking IT requirements to talking business potential.

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