More to expect from Australia’s tech scene in 2020?

2019 has been a transformative year for the global tech industry, with increased pressure being placed on businesses and organisation to keep up with the disruption. From Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the growing mass of Internet of Things (IoT), the digital space has become integral to the growth of developed economies including Australia.

In a recent report “Australia’s Digital Opportunity” by AlphaBeta, it was identified that Australia’s technology sector contributes a steady 6.6% of Australian GDP, driving innovation and productivity in the workforce. Australia's rapidly growing and highly advanced digital economy, supported by a skilled information and communication technologies (ICT) workforce will continue to take precedence into 2020.

 

What can we expect in 2020?

 

  • Increased emphasis being placed on cybersecurity and cyber awareness

Cybersecurity is an ever topical issue which has been at the forefront of priorities for Australian companies and individuals alike so far during 2019. This is set to ramp up further in 2020, largely due to some major changes in cybersecurity regulation which have taken place in the country in recent times.

For example, it is notable that the Australian Federal Police collects amount of data each year – 90% of which uses encryption. According to the Department of Home Affairs, all communications by terror organisations and criminal groups are expected to be encrypted by 2020. In order to achieve this, their new Assistance and Access Bill aims to speed up the process by which federal organisations such as the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) access such encrypted data.

Currently, the government is in the discussion phase of how best to shape their 2020 cyber security strategy in order to successfully defend the nation against ever evolving security threats. Earlier this 2019, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, released a discussion paper with the aim being to gather feedback and opinions in regards to creating the upcoming strategy which is set to replace the latest version, created in 2016.

He shared, “cybersecurity has always been a shared responsibility’’ and it is also worth asking “whether the balance of responsibilities among these groups is right.” This alludes to the prospect of a more collaborative cyber security approach on the horizon for 2020.

While it is clear that significant efforts have been and are being made to increase Australia’s cybersecurity mechanisms, there seems to be a vast amount of change yet to come over the coming year. It is nevertheless, undeniable that the increased focus being placed on cybersecurity is a trend which will continue well into 2020 and beyond.

    

  • The AI revolution will continue to thrive

New developments in in AI such as machine learning are continuing to evolve and will do so into 2020. A recent report by ACOLA on AI has outlined a number of different ways in which Australia can leverage AI to its advantage across industries over the coming year.

For one, industrial automation is set to become more autonomous which will reduce human machine interfacing further in 2020.    

The Australian government has committed AUD29.9 million over the next four years to fund AI programs. Employees working in the tech space may find themselves getting greater exposure on a day-to-day basis to touchscreens, “conversational interfaces” and “auditory technologies”. Virtual and augmented reality is also projected to amount to an AUD80 million market by 2025, featuring new virtual technologies. These technologies will aim to enhance communication and training within organisations, improving collaboration outcomes, particularly among the growing millennial workforce.

 

  • Rapid adoption of cloud computing services

Australia’s growing cloud adoption rates have been well documented by industry analyst firm Gartner, which expects the local cloud market to grow by 20.6% to reach AUD5.6 billion by the end of 2019. Given such a positive outlook in the market, Australia is seeing new investments in cloud computing services this coming year, projected to total AUD326 million.

Part of this grand total, US data centre giant Equinix is investing AUD225 million in a new Sydney facility to meet increased demand for computing capacity, while networking stalwart Cisco is pouring AUD61 million into a new plan to invest in local start-ups, develop critical infrastructure and help digitise government departments.

Rapidly growing Indian software industry disrupter Zoho, led by local managing director Timothy Kasbe, is spending upwards of $40 million to establish itself in Australia, and is bringing jobs to the regions by choosing to base itself in Byron Bay away from the major Australian cities.

  • Building a talent pipeline to support tech demand

Australia’s pipeline of technology workers and skills is gradually improving. Enrolments in IT degrees by domestic university students have increased by over 50% since the record low of the late 2000s.

The size of the gender discrepancies across the workforce suggest that there is still some way to go towards improving gender diversity within the technology market in Australia. Consistent with this, Australia’s 2019-20 Budget includes AUD3.4 million of funding to encourage more women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

Reported by Deloitte, demand for ICT workers in particular will continue to grow by almost 100,000 to 758,700 workers by 2023. By then, 3 million Australian workers are projected to be employed in occupations that use ICT regularly as part of their jobs.

Job seekers will need to be agile in acquiring skills around new technologies. What’s more, this amazing innovation should translate into improved efficiencies and organisational shifts that may significantly benefit employees. Cultural change is likely to occur in the form of an energised and dynamic workplace where excitement about impending change is pervasive and a sense of company pride in the work being done on the technology front is felt across organisations.

Job seekers should also be nimble and willing to encounter new technologies and be unafraid in embracing the potential of new systems. They should be excited and on board in supporting the company’s efforts in regard to change and innovation on the technology front and confident in the flow of benefits to the company culture, daily operations and employee satisfaction.

 

Want to learn more?

Ultimately, while most technological trends are ever-changing and ephemeral, cybersecurity, cloud computing and AI will remain at the main focus of the tech sector. If you would like to get more insights into the tech market to stay ahead this coming year, feel free to reach out to us in the contact form below. Alternatively, please connect with us on Linkedin for more industry-related information.

 

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