Digital key to post-COVID recovery: AIIA


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 17 June, 2020



Digital key to post-COVID recovery: AIIA

Digital technology will be an essential component of Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery, according to the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

In a new white paper, the industry body urged governments to look beyond traditional infrastructure investment to focus on technology infrastructure.

The white paper includes a set of recommendations for state and federal governments designed to help guide technology policy development over the next decade.

These recommendations focus on four key areas — building a national digital backbone, building a digital Australia that is secure and resilient, building digital skills for the future and recommendations on tax, incentive and government procurement reform.

It also highlights the need to build the skills base of the future, recommending initiatives such as a digital apprenticeships program arranged in partnership with government, industry and academia, as well as an incentive program for attracting skilled Australians back onshore.

Other recommendations cover building a stronger technology supply chain and ensuring IP is kept in Australia, as well as tax incentive programs to encourage advanced R&D and the digital transformation of small businesses.

“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,” AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said.

“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 reshape what we do, where and how we do it.”

The white paper was compiled by a steering committee consisting of senior figures from IBM, Vault Cloud, KPMG, Deloitte, SAP Australia, Telstra and Adobe.

“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,” IBM Australia CDO and AIIA NSW Chair Bridget Tracy said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/metamorworks

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