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 www.nexgroup.com.au 

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

image: Opensourceway

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