Sunday, September 7, 2014

Australia can build a trillion dollar ICT Industry

"A grand vision that can benefit several generations of Australians and help the astute political leader win consecutive elections by capturing the imagination of the nation"

February 2013 - By Dinesh De Silva
This was sent to the two major political parties in the 2013 election.

The background

Australian technology professionals are known around the world for their creativity and high standards of professionalism. Our ICT businesses have been known for innovation and maturity in service delivery. However, unlike our nations closest allies, the US, we are not known for having a booming ICT industry, or as an incubator for some of the finest innovations the world has seen. We have simply resigned ourselves to being consumers of technologies built in the US and other countries.

A clear case in point is Stephen Conroy’s 2020 Vision for ICT where the emphasis is on being world class adopters and consumers of technology. Clearly lacking is a vision to help build Australian technology firms and talent to create enterprises that will lead the world in the digital economy, taking advantage of the nation’s significant brand equity and creative talent.

As a nation we continue to depend on a mining lead economy. How long can we do so? Our ICT Industry, if structured correctly, can give our nation another significant source of revenue. It can be a double digit contributor to the national GDP. 

Australian's are amongst the greatest users of technology in the world and we now need to convert the use into creation. Our country is 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 Australian brand globally. Where are we lacking?

Why are we not creating greater value and impact globally as we do in other fields of achievement at an individual or national level? Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Adam Scott, Elle Macpherson, Mark Webber are just a few Aussies who have conquered the world in their fields. Our firms, BHP, Rio, Fortescue, Leightons, Macquarie Bank, Billabong are all well known global brands. Where is the equivalent in the field of ICT? Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, none have Australian origins. This is despite our economy, been one of the best performing economies for decades and our currency outperforming the best. There has to be a reason. 
This paper outlines the problem and more importantly proposes a simple solution.

The problem

We have under performed due to two significant reasons.

1) Lack of political vision and government policy to build the ICT industry as a major vehicle of national revenue with a focus on double digit contribution to the nation’s GDP.

2) Business models of Australian companies that are constrained by their dependency on Australian resources.  

This document focuses on Political Leadership and Government Policy.

Consistent governments have failed in the area of policy to provide a holistic environment and the required support structure for individuals, small and large business to focus on software and ICT innovation. A host of sporadic, “knee-jerk” initiatives rolled out on their own by consecutive governments, with the hope of boosting innovation has not helped.

In addition to the government, our Industry must take its share of blame. The composition of the board of AIIA - the country’s foremost industry association for ICT - is a case in point. Its board is predominantly built around local market CEOs of global ICT powerhouses and Australian companies that are serving the national market with products and services mostly developed overseas. With such a structure how can Australia build its own global power base in ICT with vision to take on world markets? Over the years we have evolved as such due to our nations inwardly focused nature. Many of our firms and their inventions in the hundreds are either bought out and some adopted or stolen before maturity by larger international players. For example, Google and others have bought several Australian inventions and Microsoft was successfully sued by Australian Inventor Ric Richadson for $300M+ for using his inventions. These are the luckier examples, but how many others die at inception with no funding or lack of support.  

What other nations do

The US is the best example for having a climate of innovation. Silicon Valley is perhaps the most successful "Industrial Cluster". As a result, Silicon Valley has created TRILLIONS of dollars in value and wealth to the American people. It has spawned hundreds of global super powers from mere tech start-ups! The likes of Apple, Yahoo, Google, Cisco, Adobe, eBay, Intel, HP, Sun, and the list continues...

Silicon Valley is not the only ICT cluster in the US, but it is the most successful. There are many others that help create the much needed ecosystem for  global powerhouses such as Amazon and Microsoft among others.

Even nations like Ireland, India & Costa Rica have set up IT clusters and industrial frameworks to ride on the growth of Information Technology. Indian Companies such as Infosys, TATA, WIPRO and hundreds of others have benefited by concerted national focus on IT when the government of India put in place an ICT policy which led to them becoming the outsourcing nation of the world. Today, they are global IT Conglomerates with revenues in billions of dollars. Smaller and mid-sized Irish and Indian companies are winning significant business around the world. India today is no more the "cheap” source for software developers, but have some of the best software houses in the world. Sadly, Australia cannot boast of even one company generating a billion dollar revenue as a global ICT business.

Irish ICT and software companies enjoy tremendous government support. On the invitation of the Irish Government, I once addressed around 70 leaders of the Irish Software industry on the "Australian ICT Market Place" in Ireland. A few of us were invited to Ireland as guests to provide expert opinion and local knowledge on entry into different markets around the world! These initiatives give invaluable insights to entrepreneurs taking on 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 office space, to management training to international marketing.

What’s required

Firstly we need a grand vision that can capture the imagination of our nation - a vision and a political willingness that can win not one but consecutive elections to a party that can articulate and act upon the vision.

People of Australia love a grand vision. Whether we like it or not, Labor’s vision of the NBN effectively helped them win not one but two elections. It certainly tilted the balance for Julia Gillard in Labor’s second term and gave Kevin Rudd a much needed boost in Labor’s first term.To implement this vision, we must focus on the big picture and get the best in the world to help the government to set the nation up for success. The type of global experts who have done this beforeand have the profile to get the year of a nations leaders.  It must be done as a holistic exercise similar to setting up the NBN but implemented much more professionally to tighter measures by these global experts who have experiencing building industries and global brands.

In this paper I will not focus on transactional policities like employee share ownership schemes, or importance of teaching coding in schools. The best in the world of advising our nation’s leaders and policy makers on how to implement the structures and policies of a national vision are:

1) Prof. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School and author of Competitive Advantage of Nations, who works with multiple governments in helping set up Industrial Clusters and national frameworks for competiveness of industries.

2) Blue Ocean Strategy Institute (BOSI), lead by Prof. Chan Kim and Prof. Renee Mouborgne of INSEAD Business School who have helped South Korea over many years to build world beating brands and businesses in Samsung, Hyundai, Kia and LG, to name a few. They now work with the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia. Vast strides Singapore has made recently is case in point.

If we can set up a BOSI in Australia with a focus of achieving our grand vision working with Prof Kim and team, they will help create the structure and much needed road map along with a time table and action plan for  what our nation must do.

The Malaysian BOSI which I have visited is staffed by about 30 of the best PhDs in each of the key disciplines needed for that nation’s vision. I believe Australia can significantly benefit working with the likes of Michael Porter and his team or the BOSI team headed by Professor Kim. For the purpose of the exercise I will refer in this paper to this initiative as building a Australian Strategy Institute for ICT (AUSSII).

It will take effort to woo the above mentioned experts as both Prof Michael Porter and BOSI are extremely selective on the assignments they undertake. I cannot however see why a nation like ours would not be able to attract them if we are deeply committed to the cause.

Immediate Action

1)   Form an Advisory Board with selected Australian business & economic luminaries to build a 2030 technology vision that has Australia as one of the major creators of technology.
2)   Ensure the advisory board has the required access to political leaders and officials.
3)   Agreement to divert the required funding, e.g. 10% of NBN funding to creation of an ICT lead economy.
4)   Select well respected organisations, as mentioned above, to advise the nation. They should be accountable to the advisory board in the agreed upon timeframe.


The vision articulated above will benefit several generations of Australians to come. It is also a grand vision that can be built upon the existing investments already committed on the NBN and help win consecutive elections for a visionary political leader.

The investment in a AUSSII will be minute considering the investments we are making on NBN, yet the benefits will be far greater.

An AUSSII lead strategy can help multiple industries as a spinoff. For example, while we are going to fund the automotive industry, we could focus on a program of technology creation to help Australia build the most technically advanced motor vehicles in the world or to strategically identify our niche in the global automotive industry.

With political willingness and strategic action, we can build a multi hundred billion dollar, if not a trillion dollar ICT industry around the investments made on the NBN and develop Australian invented technologies to take to the rest of the world.

Dinesh is CEO NexGroup & Co-Founder SalesNgin.Com. He lives in Sydney with his three beautiful kids and his partner in business and life Saadia. Dinesh has provided strategic direction and leadership to from government to large & medium technology businesses for over 15 years . He is a specialist in business growth,  an accomplished speaker & provides Media opinion on his latest pet topic "helping small and medium business take on the online world".
Keynotes,Media Opinion 61-2-80033342 :Twitter @dineshdesilva

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Q & A with Dane Fazakerley of AIIA (DF) researching on The biggest challenges facing the Australian IT industry

DF :What are the biggest threats or challenges that you are facing as an ICT business in Australia?

Dinesh De Silva(DDS) :  I've addressed this question slightly differently, taking a much broader view and I hope that is ok. In my mind the most significant opportunity we as a nation have, as opposed to any threat we see in the near term is articulated in more detail via a blog I wrote recently on "ICT Industry in need of vision and structure". Australia has the capability and the raw material to develop a multi trillion dollar industry. Bigger than our mining industry(big call) if we do it right! Have a read, I guarantee you it will be worthwhile.

DF :  Government (e.g. poor legislation, lack of incentives, too much red tape, etc.)?
DDS : Govt, does not understand our opportunity and we unfortunately  have no real visionaries in both sides of politics, if we did they would have linked NBN as part of the strategy to the above (vision articulated in my blog). Once we have an all encompassing strategy, everything else falls into place.  Issues of poor legislation, lack of incentives, too much red tape are all symptoms of a greater problem. The problem of not having a clear articulated vision in making ICT central to creating income streams for our nation.

DF. Cost Pressures (if so, is it the old “do more with less”, or something new) ?
DDS :All businesses need to do more with less. This has been happening for a while. At least 10 years now. There needs to be further thinking around  1) innovation(on changing the current paradigm on getting your most important jobs done) 2) Productivity (defined Producitivity is the value created in a days work, hence in an organisation individual and team focus on "creating more value in a days work will ensure more value created for each dollar spent" outsourcing low value creating work is first step towards this.
The mantra here needs to be "Resources are limited, but creativity is unlimited" as successfully used by the worlds largest steel company POSCO to grow from a little tin shed to what they are today.
Many Australian CEO's and investment analyst believe doing more with less is about just laying off people, this is a dangerous myth, our country is littered with cases of "throwing the baby with the bath water".

DF Disruptive New Technology (e.g. Cloud, Big Data, etc.)?
DDS : There are two other big changes happening here along with Cloud and Big Data, I call it the "Smart Phone/tablet tsunami", it is overtaking the world a rapid rate, especially in  developing and emerging markets due to its cheap availability (Android devices $50+). The other is Social.
Organisations operating in the old paradigm will get wiped out. Today there are 70 million Google searches a day done in Australia! It's phenomenal. Nearly 50% of these are on smart devices. So if a business is still not focused on catering to this smart device lead tsunami and still operating on the "old" web / premised based platform with their economic ecosystem (employees, customers, suppliers and others ). They WILL be left behind and wither away..

DF. Security (what specifically?)
DDS : Today there are more DDOS attacks than ever before. there are more security breaches than ever before. This is a challenge individuals and organisations need to be aware. I was talking to a security expert of a large Australian firm, they have DDOS attack(s) everyday. Not nearly, but everyday. This impacts us all. As individuals we need be a lot me careful a lot more aware..

DF. Any others? Do you think that the big companies have an unfair advantage over SMEs in the Australian market? If so, how? If not, why not?
DDS: Australia has a habit of creating and cultivating oligopolies. Not sure why! SME's have it tough, particularly because of financing controlled by the biggest of the oligop's the big ugly banks. There are a few more VC type funds available, but no where as needed. To do this, Australian small business can be supported better via industry clusters. Similar to what I am calling for via mu blog for  ICT innovation. We need to call upon the likes of Harvard business Guru,  Michael Porter to help the government in creating these clusters. Flippantly created government initiatives will not work. Michael Porter works with nations in building industrial clusters. The other team who do the same for nations very successful are  INSEAD Business school professors of Blue Ocean Strategy fame who have helped South Korea to transform (eg: Samsung, Hyundai, LG etc, etc and their continuing global achievement)  Prof Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgan.
The time is nigh! We need our nations leadership to act.

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 the above. Contact him +612 8003 3342, via twitter @dineshdesilva or 

NexGroup Asia Pacific, is a World Class Business Process Solutions business, providing Software, & Accounting, Finance and Legal BPO Services. 

image: Opensourceway

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Great Australian Broadband debate - Analysed

There is much conjecture around the coalition's broadband plan vs labour's original plan. Confusion is rife and emotions high with politics of all colours and parties with vested interest fight it out. Lets try to cut through the confusion and get some facts on the table sooner than later.

NBN Co deserves the wide criticism it has reaped for its poor handling of the broadband roll out. Execution of labour's grand vision, Australia's most expensive public works program ever, has been stymied by poor execution. Not just the NBN but the government needs to be held accountable for the cost over runs on the original estimates, which in it self was a huge drain on the public purse. The delays and size of cost over runs are inexcusable and should have been catered for.

The coalition plan on the other hand is unimpressive and lacks vision. Especially if the plan that has been articulated by opposition communications spokesman,  Malcolm Turnbull is its final plan as opposed to a phase 1 of a larger vision delivering fibre to the home. Most analyst have discounted it, and through the eyes of a strategist at first pass the coalition strategy looks fundamentally flawed.

So lets try to cut through the turbid waters of rash critique,  political argument and counter argument and get some clarity.

Fibre to the home is a noble idea, but extremely expensive particularly in a country the size of Australia.  Implementing an ambitious plan of this nature and scale is often plagued with the realities of cost blow outs and huge practical difficulty in execution. All these we have now experienced. Courage need to be admired, yet naivety of the exercise is not lost on most.

Labour plan provides 100 mbps to 93% of homes
Coalition 50-100mbps to 73% of homes and min 25mbps to 100% of homes
Labour will spend of $37.4B while the Coalition will spend $20.4B
Coalition will complete the plan 2 years sooner than labour in 2019.

Coalition plan needs to be fleshed out in particular to understand cost and timing impact of a next phase of delivery to ensure a larger percentage has fibre to the home/premises.
Current coalition plan has dependencies of cost and timing based on negotiation with Telstra on use of its copper infrastructure from the node to the home. More importantly costs incurred in the maintenance and performance related issues of the aging copper infrastructure needs to be researched.

Benefit of the coalition plan is that 100% of Australian public will not use the 100mbps broadband as its installed and by the time the need and demand is created a second phase will be able to be switched on fairly efficiently using newer technologies available. This will save the nation valuable capital at the outset.

Labour's grand plan is grand in it's design but like most other policies of this government eg: ETS, Mining tax,  unfortunately are hard to implement to fruition and will cost the tax payer infinitely more than its original estimates.

The broadband take up will not be 100% at the outset, in fact far lower and return on investment (ROI) will therefore be questionable and will most likely not meet original estimates. Considering cost over runs it's best our nations treasury prepares for a final bill exceeding $50+ billion on the labour plan.

My broadband vote: Labour plan is conceptually excellent, ticks all the boxes, too expensive, not implementable by current government. Coalition plan is implementable, and more prudent financially but must be phased to achieve FTTP to min 73% of premises with strong take up and 93% if take up justifies investment.

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 the above. Contact him +612 8003 3342, via twitter @dineshdesilva or 

NexGroup Asia Pacific, is a World Class Business Process Solutions business, providing Software, & Accounting, Finance and Legal BPO Services. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Outsourcing, The New Paradigm in Productivity?

Michael Porter at World Economic Forum.
Business Strategy Guru, and Harvard professor, Michael Porter defines productivity "As the value created in a days work" and emphatically says "The value created in a days work sets the wages you can earn". How true! You couldn't articulate individual, organisational or national productivity any better. Any more clearer.

Outsourcing can help increase value created in a days work and it is my belief, organisations who strategically outsource its low value, mundane, or non core tasks can significantly increase its productivity, if done well.
By outsourcing non core activity it allows greater focus on higher value creating tasks within the organisation, the acute specialization of a firms value chain. Staff can be moved / retrained to focus on higher value creating, higher fee earning business, working closer to the customer. Companies that outsource will grow not shrink, and as they grow will create more, higher value employment opportunities contrary to to popular beliefs of increasing unemployment.

The acute specialisation of value chain achieved by outsourcing will also help firms be stronger and to withstand tough market conditions due to inbuilt efficiencies. A lot more resilient than those who are slower to move. Apple, Virgin and the major Australian banks are some of the best examples, even the global financial crisis, the worst economic times we have ever seen, they grew and all made multi billion dollar profits when hundreds if not thousands of less efficient firms were going to the wall.

Yet the words, outsourcing or outsourcers, spell fear in most ranks within firms and nationally. Most feel initiatives to outsource will increase national unemployment. When computers were being widely introduced in corporate and government organisations in the 80's and the 90's we had the very same fears. We feared that computers would take our jobs away. We would lose control of our departments and our organisations and security would be significantly weakened and compromised.

When we now look at the paradigm of efficiency brought about with advent of computers, it is cleat that unemployment which averaged around 5.2% in 2012 is nearly half of the 9's, 10's & 11's we were experiencing most of the 1990's. Computers helped transform organisational productivity and change the paradigm of work itself, in the private and the public sector. Today we can't operate without computers even in our homes let alone at work.

If you talk to a firm of accountants today about outsourcing their mundane work, the work their staff have their head buried in, their usual fears are loss of control, security and jobs. This is no different to our fears with computers back in the day. It is the same if you speak to most firms about outsourcing their software development or the mere maintenance application software. I well remember how a CFO asserted to me in the mid 80's "these computers will take away our accounting jobs and we will have no training grounds for young accountants". I wasn't brave enough to tell him as a young consultant his fears were unfounded and he was wrong but history has proven so. Especially considering the importance, and the growth of the accounting profession today. It is the same for many other professions and industries.

Outsourcing if done well, with clear objectives, implemented with skill, can bring in significant improvements in productivity and value creation for all types and sizes of organisations. Small, medium, big, and the public sector. If done badly for the wrong reasons, unclear goals or implemented poorly it will be like those bad computerisation projects we have all heard of and know. The blame we often leave with the outsourcers or the software providers and not where it belongs

If we as employers embrace outsourcing we can help our staff move up the value chain, adding greater value and creating increased opportunities for income and efficiency. I was one of those people that helped usher in computerisation to firms in the mid 80's to the 2000's.  Today I believe outsourcing   can help strategically transform organisations and its competitiveness. Like anything, to do it successfully, you need to do it right and for the right reasons.

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 the 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. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Soul Driven Leadership - SDL

When Competence of Leadership must stand up..

It was 1pm last afternoon, I was in North Sydney, at a lunch meeting at a fairly nondescript Japanese restaurant when I received a text... "I have just been made redundant". The news was shocking.

This text was from a highly respected customer of ours, whose professionalism in all his dealings with us had been of the highest standard. My overiding thought was "its a cruel world" where even the strongest of the species is not spared... Then again, the question is what is the measure of strength? professionalism? seniority? performance? In this case it could have been none of these... for goals had been set and achieved in the most trying circumstances.

Was it politics the measure of performance? What ever the answer is, there is one factor that all professionals of all types, ages need to get into perspective, that job security is near zero. Well this may sound like a clichĂ© . but then why is it, when a job is lost, it comes like a tracer bullet from nowhere.... Individuals, need security for existence and certainly growth. How do you achieve these in such circumstances. Important questions, that need good answers.

In my hyper analytic state I would say in the case of my client, the measures of performance while accepted at the highest levels, accomplishment of the toughest goals takes courage and often the honourable backing of the ultimate leader. If this leader lacks the competence of understanding and withstanding the numerous pressures brought about due to change taking place, there will be victims and it is often the driver of change, the shooting of the messenger. In the organisation in question, the CEO who instituted the change moved on, and interim CEO was appointed and by the time a new CEO was appointed the organisation was on limp mode with most of the damage done. In these circumstances while the goals are still agreed at the highest level as important to the organisation as it still makes sense. The absence of required leadership to handle the inevitable challenges of change and the noise of change, creates chaos. Emotion overcomes rationality, measures change, scape goats are sort and good people often take the sword.

High quality leadership with a patient and long term view is perhaps one of the most lacking competence in our country today. Chest beating, fast talking, cost cutting  leaders are a plenty but is that the type our country, our companies and our people deserve?  I beg to differ, organisations with a vision and more importantly a soul will thrive, where ever they are in the world. Most of these organisations have leaders with quiet confidence and competence, who know where they are going and taking their people...., These organisations will profit even in tough economic times in the most under performing industries.. 

Apple and Google have been favourites of mine for many years, examples of soul driven leadership. These organisations have thrived in the worst economic times the world has seen. In case of Apple, how it can be turned from near bankruptcy, to being the most valuable company on the planet must take a miracle. In fact what it took, was leadership that gave it a soul. Google is an example of how human talent can be mustered., treated respectfully  developed and lead through key values (that give it a soul ) to achieve great world beating outcomes.

Virgin group run by Richard Branson is another great example of an organisation with a soul. A brand that stands for its values and a leader that is true to its values in the way he lives and runs over a thousand businesses. Branson has shown with leadership and with good people who you are faithful to, you can take on any industry and win, economic climates can be overcome. He now is taking on governments of the world with Virgin Galactica, venturing outer space.

Another favourite, an organisation with a highly competent leader, in fact a culture of leadership. They have grown from zero to be a global leader in an highly competitive industry having fought the biggest and the smartest, is today a multi billion dollar global business growing at a tremendous pace. These are companies with souls...they are growing when most companies are going backwards, and as long as they remain so will continue to grow.

If you are a leader, build your business to have a  soul, adhering to clearly articulated sincere and honourable values, where values are not just for lip service but the ones firstly you, then your company and its people live by. In the most trying of circumstance you adhere to them not compromise them. If you do so your business will be a hugely successful achieving every one of your measures of success. Whatever they would be.

If you are an employee, seek out those companies that have a soul. They will provide you the most amount of satisfaction and growth. They may not be the highest paying or with the biggest brands yet, but carefully seek them out, they are the future if you in return will be honourable and sincere.

If you are an investor the answer is simple.

Dinesh De Silva is CEO of Nexgroup Asia Pacific, is available to speak to organisations or groups as a guest speaker on Soul Driven Leadership. 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. 
Outsourcing Include : Offshore & OnShore software development, Software maintenenace, Outsourced developers, Offshore Accounting ,  Bookkeeping,  Online accounting,, Account Payable outsourcing, Offshore accounting, Legal Process Outsourcing  (LPO), Legal Services, Paralegal Services, Litigation support, Document Review, Offshore Legal Processing, Legal Research, Legal resources

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Australia's 2020 Goals for a Digital Economy

National Digital Economy Strategy was launched today at CeBit 2011 by  Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy. Additional investments to facilitate the strategy to be announced.

The Government defines the digital economy as a globally connected network of economic and social activities enabled by information and communications technology. The Digial Economy Strategy encompasses goals for eCommerce, eHeath and distance education. 

To measure progress in realising its vision by 2020, the government has set the following goals. Worthy goals that can clearly propel our nation as a leading digital economy.  It will now take courage and the discipline to implement these strategies to fruition by 2020. 

Lacking in Vision

I have discussed below what I feel is however significantly lacking from the core of its strategy. The strategy to build an army of Australian firms that lead this digital world. The goals outlined will essentially make us good consumers of a digital world, my vision however is to see our nations firms playing a significant role in the creations of the digital world in helping create companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, eBay. It is important for government to drive that strategy as a core to building a digital economy. More on this after the summary below.
Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in the portion of households that connect to broadband at home.
Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in relation to the portion of businesses, and not for profit organisations, using online opportunities to drive productivity improvements, expand their customer base and enable jobs growth.
The majority of Australian households, businesses and other organisations will have access to smart technology to better manage their energy use.
As identified in the National E-Health Strategy endorsed by the federal, state and territory governments, 90 per cent of high priority consumers such as older Australians, mothers and babies and those with a chronic disease, or their carers, can access individual electronic health records.
By July 2015, 495 000 telehealth consultations will have been delivered providing remote access to specialists for patients in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas, and by 2020, 25 per cent of all specialists will be participating in delivering telehealth consultations to remote patients.
Australian schools, TAFEs, universities and higher education institutions will have the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible educational services and resources to extend online learning resources to the home and workplace; and the facilities to offer students and learners, who cannot access courses via traditional means, the opportunity for online virtual learning.
Australia will have at least doubled its level of teleworking so that at least 12 per cent of Australian employees report having a teleworking arrangement with their employer.
Four out of five Australians will choose to engage with the government through the internet or other type of online service.
Digital divide
The gap between households and businesses in capital cities and those in regional areas will have narrowed significantly.
All noble intentions, lets hope the government has the courage and the discipline to imprlement these strategies to realise these objectives by 2020.
Still lacking as part of this core vision and the strategy is a vision to help build Australian technology firms and talent to create enterprises that will lead the world in the digital economy taking advantage of the nations significant brand equity and creative talent.   The US has done this successfully through building its IT Industrial Cluster, the Silicon Valley, that help build companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Adobe, YouTube, HP, etc etc... creating a trillion dollar export market.
Even Nations like India and  Ireland have built huge national capabilities with strong vision. Unfortunately the ministers vision is clearly lacking on this part! Australian companies given the national focus, supported by a Industrial/IT Cluster in its true sense (Michael Porter, Competitive Advantage of Nations) can take this nations talent to achieve in new vistas, not seen before but completely within the Australian capability.

(Summary of goals courtesy - Australian CIO Magazine 31 May 2011)

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. 
Outsourcing Include : Offshore &  OnShore software development, Software maintenenace, Outsourced developers, Offshore Accounting ,  Bookkeeping,  Online accounting,, Account Payable outsourcing, Offshore accounting, Legal Process Outsourcing  (LPO), Legal Services, Paralegal Services, Litigation support, Document Review, Offshore Legal Processing, Legal Research, Legal resources

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goal Achievement ! Yes Passion can help!

Most of us run through daily life focused on achieving. During waking hours we are chained to a computer, run from one meeting to another, while attending to the constant demands on our time via phone, text, email & twitter... Its a flurry of never ending activity. All this due to an incessant need to succeed or just meet obligations. However things don't always go to plan, its easy to get distracted or disheartened when we run into issues while constant challenges that make the achievement of our goals ever so hard. Challenges in our lives come from various sources, environmental, corporate, internal politics even family. When such challenges come our way you wonder what more do I have to do??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I was sent this by a friend via email. As a keen student of the arts and sciences of  building balance & wholesomeness in life, and the way we live, I thought it was worth sharing. Source unknown, but a worthy read. It makes sense and practice will make perfect! Life is meant to be lived! and lived to the fullest.

 Birth is our Opening Balance! 
 Our Death is our Closing Balance!
 Our Prejudiced Views are our Liabilities
 Our Creative Ideas are our Assets 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8 Steps to build a Social Media Strategy for the Individual

Most Australian organisations are coming to terms with Social Media while individuals around the world are enjoying the benefits provided by social media platforms, at a personal and social level.

I am a firm believer that an effective approach to social media can help you professionally by letting you voice your distinctive capabilities to an audience previously not within your reach. Facebook today reaches over 300 Million People and that's a bigger market than the whole of the EU or US. With Twitter & LinkedIn numbers increasing by the minute if not second your audience is getting bigger by the day and your accessibility is all at your finger tips.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Acting when leadership is questioned ...

How must a leader act when his or her leadership is questioned? As a leader your leadership will be questionsed, especially during times of difficulty, when tough decisions need be made, when the world screams, the media writes you off, and popular opinion is against you. But true leaders need to see the wood from the trees and  and give solid direction whilst listenng to the pulse of your people. As a wise man said "To set your course by the stars in the sky and NOT by the lights of passing ships".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reinventing yourself Mid Career - Get back that spark !!

As a keen analyst of personal and organisational success, I had an inspiring discussion with a successful yet a spirit filled person earlier today. What I mean by spirit filled is, someone quite content, very content in fact, at peace with her self and the environment around her, yet looking for ways of achieving further success. Now this is great. You dont often meet such people in a given week, so I always enjoy such conversations and this was over lunch on a beautiful summer’s day in a lovely cafĂ© in Sydney's CBD.

During our conversation, I was asked for my advice on how you recreate or re-invent yourself especially in your middle years once you have achieved your goals that you have set for your self in your youth and reached a level of fulfilment. No doubt a degree of complacency often transcends with time with the achievement of goals and the long journey travelled in between.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Australian ICT Services Industry - The Opportunity

As a keen analyst of the Australian ICT industry, I see huge gaps in the market place and significant opportunity for the strategic, yet savvy IT Services organisations prepared to chart a new and somewhat a different course.

The consolidation that has happened in the last 10 years have created new opportunities with formidable industry players being gobbled up both in the applications and in the Infrastructure sphere. It has happened in the Enterprise & the Mid Tier market place.. creating a the vacuum, in fact a huge vaccuum.

Out of the gaps I see the greatest is in the mid tier enterprise and commercial market, which is commonly described in the industry as 500-3500 seats. Australian corporations between 500-3500 desktops/laptops/workstations. These gaps have been caused by many including, Volante after the acquisition of it by Commander, the self destruction of Commander it self a few years later, Acquistion of Alphawest by Singtel Optus a few years earlier,  a lame KAZ (& Aspect) after its acquisition by Telstra and several other smaller mid tier players acquired by the likes of Oakton, SMS, UXC and others. Another segment of the market has departed due to poor management, lack of funding, economic circumstances or a combination. Entropy is I guess the law of nature yet is speedened up by poor management and turbo charges by poor management (case in point Volante after Commander acquisition).

While the top end space is well looked after and is fiecely competed in, by the likes of IBM, EDS CSC, HP & a few Indian firms, namely TCS, Infosys & Wipro. I believe the sector below that is some what neglected and will have significant opportunity for a dynamic and robust company with a sound customer centric , talent focused approach to the market. Such a company will attract abundant talent from several large and inflexible organisations that have become lazy, inefficient and often incapable in the practices of real human talent management. HR has become a much delegated function with no real teeth or integrity in many IT organisations in this country.

Good talent will always attract great customers in numbers as the delivery of quality professional services need talented, committed and passionate people, not just bodies, certifications and methodology.

Customers are sick of cost over runs on projects, mediocre service, poor advice, and often uncommitted people, and the constant barrage of sales people, selling the same commoditised products and services with little or no differentiation, not understanding the customers business, adding little or no strategic value to the corporation just eating up valuable time of executive and management by countless unproductive meetings..

I am surprised how just a few IT services organisations have architected and modelled their internal organisational structures around the client organisation, while the majority stick to product centric silos that are designed to "push" product yet prove vastly counter productive due to lack of alignment with client organisations. The resultant internal competition and bickering that happens between these silos create huge inefficiencies, reduction in focus and add significant cost to customer. The consolidation that has taken place in the industry in the last 10 years and the resultant internal focus due to understandable behavioural issues over territory and jobs haven’t helped here.

It wasn’t long ago the top end of the market was dominated by IBM, EDS, CSR followed by HP, Fujitsu and Unisys in the enterprise sector. Yes that was until HP acquired EDS in May 2008, and Fujitsu acquired the Telstra owned KAZ in March 2009. Yes, Kaz was a respected mid tier player who had built a solid reputation until Telstra. Kaz were well positioned to dominate the mid tier sector, then Telstra acquired the company infused it with Telstra management and completely changed it's culture and with that it's competitive edge.

I believe the time is nigh. For dynamic organisations and investors to rise up and take advantage of the opportunities created, I believe there is several hundred million dollars of value to be created if not a billion. It will however take vision, new thinking and good management. It will most importantly take courage. The courage to make the tough calls when cross roads are met, cross roads where courageous leaders will not compromise when it comes to treating its customers and its people right.

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. 
Outsourcing Include : Offshore & OnShore software development, Software maintenenace, Outsourced developers, Offshore Accounting ,  Bookkeeping,  Online accounting,, Account Payable outsourcing, Offshore accounting, Legal Process Outsourcing  (LPO), Legal Services, Paralegal Services, Litigation support, Document Review, Offshore Legal Processing, Legal Research, Legal resources

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Listening to the man on the street


Around 2pm this afternoon, I was stopped by a turbened Indian gentlemen on the bridge that connects Greenwood Plaza and Elizebeth Plaza in North Sydney. I am not sure why I stopped. His first words were "Sir you have a lucky face" and I thought who is this person ? is he a con man ? and started to walk suspiscously, he however asked me to wait a minute in a very compelling kind of a way which I did, he then asked me a few questions which I answered. The man then wrote a note on a piece of paper which I was asked to hold in my palm... he then went on to ask me what my wife's name was and my age which I reluctantly answered. At this point he told me a few things that are happening right now in my life rather accurately which I was very curious about and then asked me to look at the piece of paper... I was astounded to see my wife's name and my age written on it .... Amazingly accurately with the right spelling, phew !! ... and I was unnerved.

Does any one know how this stuff is done ? I am very keen to know.
The man had a very peaceful and serene look on his face... I was yet uncomfortable with this unknown man from the street telling me about my self... you feel completely vulnerable yet you want to know more... I kept wondering if I should go back and ask him more, but.. I was sure that life is what you make of, you create your success with your own deep desires, you make your own luck by etching it in your subconscous mind and taking planned and consistent action towards your goals.. day in day out whilst working on our weaknesses that often inhibit us from our true potential. However through planned action to first understand them and then to improve upon our weaknesses will certainly help to overcome them over time. I for one often thought I spoke too much and listned too little When I analysed myself a few years ago. (My wife reckons I have many more which I prefer you not to know :-) )
Joining Toastmasters and the advice of my inspiring wife (you know what I mean :-) has helped me with improving this weakness to be a much better listener while being a better speaker... more improvement to happen here ...

As I close, I am firm in my belief it is us through our deep desire and action that we create our future. Not by words of wise men on street corners or nay sayers at work, amongst family or friends however compelling and convincing they may sound. One of my favourite quotes best articulates this message, "Lets set our course by the stars in the sky and not by the lights of passing ships" .

Have a GREAT DAY ...