Australia to become a Leading Digital Economy by 2030

Fed Gov to Supercharge Digital Transformation. Learn how your business can benefit.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have charted a course for Australia to become a leading digital economy by 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technologies by nearly every Australian business and consumer alike. This rapid adoption has enabled lots of companies to transform their operations and continue to trade through the crisis.

“Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things,” the Prime Minister said as his Government released the 2020-21 Budget.

Delivered last week by the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg the Budget has a focus on Australia’s economic recovery post-Covid. But notably, for Small Business, the plan has a clear focus on supporting and developing Australia’s digital economy, which covers much more than big corporations in the innovation and technology sector.

The Federal Governments goal is to make Australia a leading digital economy by 2030 across the board. So what is the “digital economy”?

In 2020 nearly every single business has at least one digital component. At it’s core, the digital economy certainly includes technology companies, fintech, and eCommerce, but it’s much, much more than that.

The role of digital in the eyes of the Fed Gov is “to improve productivity” across all businesses and industries by supporting the adoption of various technologies.

The Role of Digital, As seen by the Federal Government
More broadly, the role of digital in the eyes of the Fed Gov is “to improve productivity” across all businesses and industries by supporting the adoption of various technologies.

Data sits at the core of any digital enterprise – and in Australia, we now have the Consumer Data Right (CDR). The CDR was first announced in November 2017 and has come a long way since then.

The CDR gives consumers more control over their data. Privacy is a real issue for many, as our data continues to be mined by various companies. This practice is particularly prominent in the finance industry, where banks aggregate and then trade your data with other companies (without your knowledge or consent).

The Financial Services sector was the first industry that was introduced to the CDR in the form of “open banking”.

Under the cover of COVID-19, the open banking framework officially started in July this year (2020) with the big four banks leading the way.

Now Australian banking customers can request to get a copy of their financial data, and this will be extended to all other banks and financial institutions by July 2021.

Why does this matter for your business? Well, as part of the Fed Gov investment, nearly 30 million will go towards the implementation of the CDR throughout the energy sector.

This investment is to support an “open energy” framework that will dramatically increase competition and allow consumers to easily switch products, find better deals and sign up to new services within the energy sector.

Central to that framework is renewable energy technologies. The ultimate goal is to create a living, breathing marketplace where everyone with a solar panel on their roof (including businesses that may have quite a sizeable solar footprint – think warehouses etc.) can buy and sell energy in real-time.

Think programmatic trading meets renewable energy – and the increase in business productivity that brings due to the supply of cheap, green energy will be enormous.

IKEA has already shown that they are going to be a leading player in this new energy market. They announced their plans recently to turn their big blue mega-stores across Australia into renewable energy power stations by installing solar panels and batteries.

The capability of IKEA to generate power is so significant that it’s modelling shows they will not only power their stores; they’ll feed excess energy back into the grid and make a profit.

This opportunity isn’t just open to multi-national enterprise, it’s going to become available for nearly every single business in Australia. Whatever your energy bill was last financial year, moving forward, you’ll have the chance to tackle it from a whole new perspective and possibly even transform it into a profit centre.

To help businesses be digital-ready, the Fed Gov is also investing $3 million to develop a “Digital Readiness Assessment tool” designed to help companies to assess their digital maturity.

A further $2.5 million will support a “Digital Skills Finder” program to help small businesses and workers to find the digital skills training courses that they need to upskill.

The Government is investing in Australia’s digital future, through the channel of small business. They’ve labelled it their “JobMaker Digital Business Plan” and it’s really a concerted effort by the Fed Gov to create new opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes to be able to grow digitally, quickly.

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