A joint Australian Information Industry (AIIA) and Federal Government report has indicated that small and medium companies are the driving force behind the IT&T industry.
The IT Engine Room -- SMEs in Australia's IT&T Industry suggested that SMEs are an often forgotten but integral component of the local industry. "The report shows that small-to-medium IT companies are a significant source of innovation, job and wealth creation and business and market development in Australia," said Peter Upton, executive director of AIIA.
According to the report, SMEs are well positioned in the global IT infrastructure and have strong partner alliances and market positions.
However, the report stipulates that SMEs still face pressure from larger corporations, most significantly multinational organisations.
In response to these challenges, the Department of Communications, Information and the Arts has outlined an incentive and support program. "For SMEs in the IT&T sector to achieve their potential they need to establish stronger links with multinationals, R&D organisations, financiers, leading-edge customers and governments to help place them on a faster growth path," explained Peter McGauran, acting Minister for Communications, Information and the Arts.
The Government's Building on IT Strengths (BITS) program is partly in aid of this strategy, providing SMEs with $158 million to establish incubator centres that offer technical advice and startup finance.
The report also calls on the financial and investment industries to bolster SMEs' positions with capital input and advice.