SAP A/NZ president and managing director, John Ruthven, has called for Australia to address what he describes as a critical skills shortage in IT.
As part of his predictions for 2016, Ruthven said in the face of emerging technologies, Government and industry must collaborate to improve local skills in order to make Australia a stronger nation.
“Society is marching to the tune of technology, yet Australia’s IT skills shortage is becoming critical,” he explained.
“If the gap is not bridged, we face local and international consequences. In 2016, the Government, businesses, technology leaders, not-for-profits and industry associations must come together to overcome this challenge to engage and inspire people to learn the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills crucial to our future success.”
Ruthven outlined the five main trends he believes will be critical to the Australian economy in 2016 and beyond:
Smarter World: Marching to the tune of technology
“Whether it’s embracing robotics to improve manufacturing processes, 3D printing to produce owned products or machine-based algorithms for applications, becoming a technology company will create new business models focused on optimising outcomes,” said Ruthven.
Hyper connectivity: Disrupting traditional business rules
“The explosion in connections at the individual and machine level will continue to gather momentum, disrupting all established rules around business channels,” he said.
“This exponential growth in hyper connectivity opens the door to the increased personalisation of experiences across channels, empowering Australian businesses to reach new customers, create new products and services, and discover new market opportunities.”
Super Computing: Businesses start looking into the future
“In 2016, Australian businesses will increasingly work to consolidate the technology platforms used for managing the plethora of data being captured,” Ruthven predicted.
“As a result, they will benefit from a reduced total cost of ownership of their IT, and will be able to make better-informed business decisions thanks to improved analytic and predictive capabilities. Subsequently, IT spend will be shifted toward innovation, creating value for the business and customer.
“To achieve this, Australian businesses will continue to adopt large-scale in-memory computing, allowing them to rapidly make sense of their data. Deploying next-generation enterprise applications – such as finance, CRM and ERP solutions – which seamlessly integrate and share information will also simplify and improve business processes, and empower collaboration internally and externally.
“Businesses will be able to make better-informed, real-time decisions and automate processes to disrupt traditional models and create an infinite range of opportunities. This will support the Australian ideas boom, developing the talent to inspire ideas, and the partnerships to commercialise them.”
Cloud Computing: Driving industry specific innovation and expansion
“Cloud computing has been a regular topic for predictions in recent years, but in 2016 it has a critical role to play in driving the innovation economy and expansion among Australian industries,” the SAP MD claimed.
“The Cloud, established within areas of the business where processes are predominantly consistent, will deliver more industry-specific functionality and value. Specifically in financial and public services, agile-innovation delivered via the Cloud – as well as the well-known OPEX benefits – will trigger larger scale adoption, especially for government departments working to meet the country’s Cloud-first policy by the 2017 deadline.”
Cyber Security: Building trust with consumers, staff and partners
Inevitably, increased hyper connectivity leads to increased risk of corporate spying and data hacks,” he added.
“With high-profile hacks front of mind for consumers – as we’ve seen many times in 2015 – businesses will address cyber security as part of their overall digital strategy. Doing this early successfully builds trust among consumers, staff and partners alike.”
“Trust is the ultimate currency for business, giving security-focused organisations a significant advantage in brand reputation.”
Australia becomes a driver of change
“The disruption of whole industries is very real, and businesses in Australia can no longer allow international organisations to drive it alone,” Ruthven added.
“In 2016, Australian businesses will assert their position as drivers of change in the new global digital economy, with the trends outlined above the foundations upon which this is achieved. As demonstrated by the National Innovation and Science Agenda, technology has never been more important to Australia’s success, and businesses in 2016 will turn their attention to tackling complexity and focus on innovation.”