The president of the Australian Computer Society Edward Mandla vows he will continue to push hard for reform within the organization in an effort to re-establish political and industry clout for the ICT industry.
Addressing delegates at the Computerworld Mapping the Future of IT forum in Sydney this month, Mandla said following the implosion of the dotcom bubble, the ACS and IT industry in general had seen its economic and political influence decline at the very time it needed to assert itself to restore confidence and credibility.
Part of IT’s major image problem was a misguided perception people involved in the information technology industry came from a either the speculative opportunism of the dotcom equity bubble or sported ponytail haircuts when neither were true, Mandla warned.
Mandla argued that negative results of such ill-founded stereotypes had been that IT had lost its appeal as a driving economic force capable of shaping industry and social policy to further Australia’s national interest at a time when technological capability was proving to be a critical differentiator between economies that were able to respond and adapt swiftly to the pressures of a globalized economy.
To combat these negative stereotypes, Mandla said the ACS had retained the services of Canberra thinktank Access Economics, leadership and development mentoring from former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps and a team of lobbyists to prize open the doors of ministry.
Of the latter, Mandla said the ACS would now seek to engage and directly influence the thoughts of the government on ICT issues, especially as they related to the creation of jobs and new ventures in Australia.
This included a substantial push to promote Australia’s ability to seize opportunity in high-level systems and software design rather than trying to compete on price with powerful developing coding destinations such as India, Mandla said.
Regarding Australian government support for the local ICT industry, Mandle said Australia’ IT industry had to “get real” about making Australia’s leaders showcase the country’s IT wares on their sleeves – even if such choices might not necessarily match every single criteria