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Australia improves global competitiveness through digital technology, according to Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge


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20 February 2014: In launching the Australian Shift Index, Peter Williams, Deloitte’s Chief Edge Officer, said technology is driving new knowledge flows and impacts how Australia engages with the world.

“While Australia is well prepared, the nation’s continued prosperity hinges on our ability to use technological prowess to find new solutions to old problems.  Many industries are shifting their investment to the creation of new workflows, services and partner communities,” said Mr Williams. “We have yet to realise the full economic potential of leveraging these technological advances in order to maximise our competiveness.”

The recently released report, Setting aside the burdens of the past: The possibilities of technology-driven change in Australia, produced by Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge, examines findings of the Australian Shift Index. The Shift Index helps executives understand and take advantage of the changes around them and explores the exponential rate of change which is fundamentally altering the global business environment.

The report’s major take-outs are framed by the age-old theme of Australian history – the tyranny of distance from major markets. The index shows how this plays out in our high market concentration and less vigorous competition. It also shows how we’re improving market competitiveness through economic reform and by applying information-amplifying technology, such as social media, for which our appetite seems boundless.

“It will be about industries effectively leveraging the rising seas of information to improve their productivity and cost-efficiency, resulting in more agile and adaptable businesses that can create new opportunities,” said Mr Williams. “While manual workers have traditionally been the economy’s engine room, our future prosperity depends on creative knowledge workers whom are adept at using new knowledge flows to improve productivity and profitability.”

Deloitte’s Australian Shift Index has ten key findings:

Fast adopters: Australians have a good track record for adopting new technology. Our challenge is to continue adapting, and to find opportunities to leverage these technologies within our institutions.

Tech-driven change: The permeation of cheap, powerful computing, communications and storage technologies is driving change and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Knowledge flows: New technology has resulted in new flows of information at unprecedented volumes.

Higher competition: The Australian market has become more competitive as a result of new technology and knowledge flows.

Capital over labour: Australia’s focus has shifted away from labour and towards investment in new technologies for more efficient workflows.

Knowledge economy: Australia has shifted from an industrial and agricultural economy to a creative, service-based economy.

Unrealised potential: There is a big gap between our technological capabilities and the way we currently use technology to solve problems.

Economic strength: Australia’s economy is strong and demonstrates better asset profitability than the US.

Recession-proof: The global downturn in 2008 was only a pause in our progress and has not halted Australia’s transformation.

Future success: Our continued prosperity depends on how well our knowledge workers can find new ways of using technology to solve problems.

Financial Services industry:

Australia is often near the top of the list regarding global adoption of social media, smartphones and broadband. Not all industries have adapted quickly to the shift in consumer preferences, although Australia’s financial service industry stands out.

Australian banks have supported online banking for many years and customers have moved away from branches and ATMs for most everyday banking that doesn’t include cash or cheques. This has also filtered through to credit unions and more recently superannuation funds. Customers certainly like this development – satisfaction with internet banking at the Big Four banks currently sits at 91%.

In recent years, banks have increasingly provided mobile banking apps for their customers. In the 6 months prior to December 2013, 5.198 million Australians conducted Internet banking using an app on a mobile phone or tablet, which is equivalent to 27.0% of the Australian population aged over 14.

“Organisations are rapidly introducing new payment technologies and consumers and businesses in Australia have been keen to take up mobile banking apps,” concluded Mr Williams.


NB: See our media releases and research at www.deloitte.com.au

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Name:
Jane Kneebone
Company:
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Corporate Affairs & Communications
Phone:
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 4 1614 8845
Email
jakneebone@deloitte.com.au

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