Hitachi Data Systems A/NZ vice-president and general manager, Neil Evans, characterises Australia as the “Western gateway to the East”.
He sees Australia as having the potential to capitalise on opportunities in countries such as China, where there is already seven per cent GDP growth.
“In any environment where GDP is growing, you have sufficient customer size, access to an Asian market and a banking industry that is doing very well,” he said.
With a GDP growing at three per cent and potentially at 3.5 per cent next year, Australia has another interesting characteristic in what Evans calls a “completely split economy.”
“Australia is an interesting market, because the West is growing at six per cent and the East is growing at one per cent,” he said.
While that may seem like a very unusual dynamic, Evans said it is relative when compared to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“In countries such as Spain, youth unemployment has hit 60 per cent, and the youth category there spans from 18 to 25,” Evans said.
“Not only that, but everyone over the age of 18 in over one in four households is now unemployed.”
When Evans relocated to Australia for his current role from HDS in Europe, he was surprised to see how vibrant the local economy is.
“What people are concerned about is that, even in the midst of the biggest mining boom in history, the government still can’t pay off the deficit,” he said.
When speaking of his recent appointment to Australia, Evans said it is “always nice to work in growing markets than in a stagnant one.”
Even though Australia only has a population of 23 million people, it has significantly sized businesses with global presence that makes it attractive to HDS.
“Internally at HDS, we often say that Australia punches above its weight,” he said.
Looking at a macro view, Evans has found that internally as company HDS has a “strong group of people,” but it has a tendency to “invent everything” in Australia irrespective of whether it has invented it elsewhere.
“More sharing of best practices would be a benefit to us a business and just in general,” he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.