Faster, higher, stronger – Part 2

As the growth rates of emerging markets continue to accelerate and further expand beyond the current leaders – Brazil, Russia, India and China – the power of these regions in the global IT industry is becoming more pronounced.

Gartner estimates that IT spending in emerging markets will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent to reach $1.3 trillion by 2011.  In comparison, mature markets will spend more overall ($2.5 trillion by 2011) but invest a smaller percentage (4.6 per cent).

And with the rapid rise in IT growth in emerging nations, analysts are predicting that the global ICT industry will be ‘borderless’ by 2015.  This means that organisations, including governments, will increasingly source their ICT from around the globe without regard to the ‘country of origin’ or ‘headquarters’ of the vendor supplying the solution, be it software, hardware, telecommunications, IT services, or people.

It’s fair to say that Australia will have more to worry about than simply how well our rowers and cyclists perform by the time London 2012 rolls around.

As organisations leverage low-cost, highly skilled labour sources, nations such as Australia will be at a significant competitive disadvantage unless we find a distinct value proposition. 

Functions which can be digitised or automated are most likely to be sent offshore, so building those skills which are valuable locally and less easy to replicate are crucial to underwrite Australia’s economic prosperity.

As the WEF report clearly demonstrates, those countries leading the world in ICT readiness have a coherent government vision of the importance of ICT, coupled with an early focus on education and innovation.

Australia possesses an abundantly-skilled, culturally and linguistically diverse workforce that excels in high value, creative problem-solving skills.  Our people have a reputation around the globe for their ability to develop integrated business solutions through applied ICT technology. 

But, just like the Aussie stars of the track and pool, our people need nurturing.  We have the capacity to develop world-beating ICT products and solutions – but we need support, investment and incentives to ensure we keep our place up the front of the pack.

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