Australia's path to success in the 21st century
For Australia to succeed as an economy in the coming decades, it must successfully participate in the subsequent waves of the digital revolution. Success requires using the Australian people's creativity and skills; supporting our businesses' entrepreneurship and innovation; and applying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT). Digital success will enable growth and innovation across industries as diverse as manufacturing, agriculture and professional services. It will generate new jobs and help address various social challenges, from reducing traffic congestion to delivering health services more efficiently.
By some measures, Australia is taking advantage of the opportunities the digital revolution offers. Information and communications technology (ICT) services exports increased by more than 60% over the past five years to reach $3.2 billion in 2016-17. Business ICT R&D increased by almost 50% to $6.6 billion in the five years to 2015-16. But there are also early warning signs that Australia could become a passenger in the digital journey, with other countries in the driver's seat. As an economy grappling with the transition from its mining boom, Australia risks falling behind our international peers, which could affect productivity and living standards.
This edition of ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse is the fourth annual stocktake of the health of Australia’s digital economy, produced by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Computer Society (ACS). It's the most detailed examination of digital workforce trends to inform public debate about this critical area of our economy. But this edition is more than just an annual update. For the first time, we directly benchmark Australia's digital performance with its peers and contemplate the magnitude of the benefits if we can become a global leader in digital activity. We identify what success looks like regarding Australia's workforce and businesses and some of the policies needed to support this digital activity.