Improved information, improved communications and, ultimately, improved profit are some of the benefits offered by a digital economy.
Businesses all over the world are seeing revenue rise thanks to the integration of software and cloud services. According to economists, the internet contributed $50 billion to the Australian economy last year, which is 3.6% of the GDP and equal to the contribution made by iron exports in a country historically dependent on mining (www.abc.net.au).
Australia has targeted a place in the top five OECD countries by 2020, and it’s making an effort to increase the number of organizations operating online to provide the needed boost to productivity and profitability. (www.edhusic.com) through a number of initiatives:
- 457 Australian visa sponsorships are being granted to ICT specialists, with three specialist ICT positions in the top 15 users, emphasizing the demand for digital skills.
- The National Broadband Network is being developed with the intention to reach 93% of the Australian population by 2020.
- Data centers, such as Hewlett Packard’s $200m Aurora Data Center in Sydney, are being set up to support cloud computing.
SAP Helps to Drive the Development of Digital Skills
Priorities for this effort include the adoption of technologies like cloud services, and the development of skills needed to harness these technologies.
The number of students undertaking IT degrees in Australia has declined by 50 per cent over the past 10 years. The Australian Computer Society believes there simply aren’t enough IT professionals in higher education, and that educational institutions haven’t done enough to promote IT courses. As a result, Australia is forced to depend on international students and migrants to provide the skills needed (www.computerworld.com.au).
SAP partnered with the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE to provide a series of online SAP courses. This is part of an effort by SAP to encourage interest in Information Technology amongst younger generations, and invest in the talent that will be essential to Australia’s economic growth.
SAP also recently made a deal with the NSW Government’s Trade & Investment Agency to implement Business ByDesign – its cloud-based platform. This will be the biggest implementation of the software yet, involving the transfer of at least 16 companies from legacy software systems to the cloud. These are examples of efforts that go some way towards addressing the IT skills shortage and enabling the adoption of powerful internet technologies.
Meanwhile, events like the SAP Innojam serve to encourage innovation. The 30-hour competition gathers SAP customers and employees, as well as general technology enthusiasts and tests their creativity and problem-solving abilities. The second Innojam conference challenged attendees to come up with software-based solutions to the severe environmental damage and displacement caused by bushfires.
In this way, people learn to apply IT to solving real-world problems and glimpse the solutions made possible by a digital economy; which can provide benefits that go far beyond powering industries.
About the Author: Written by Matthew Flax on behalf of SAP Careers, which is niche job board that advertises SAP-specific and SAP-related jobs in Australia and other major countries in the world.