Interview: The AIIA on the NBN, collaboration and turning Australia into an ICT leader (Part 1)

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JG: If you ask me what one thing, the one thing I think is the second point that Ian has raised. We will be much better strategically positioned if we are a leading user of technology. Yes, we need to produce our technologies in order to sustain industries, we also need to increase our exports, but the adoption and use of technologies inside the borders of Australia is really where we should make sure we do a damn good job and that’s a leadership thing. At the Realising Our Broadband Future conference I chaired a stream on e-business, and the conclusion of the panel was that the business leaders actually don’t get it. They don’t really understand the imperative around the adoption and use of technology to optimise the performance of their businesses, and that’s a pretty frightening conclusion.

It might be a little bit self-serving, but you can also point to leaders in the business community where that’s not the case but if you look at the OECD statistics, and look at the measures of innovation across the OECD nations, and in terms of innovation through innovative products for example, I think we rank 20th in the OECD nations in large companies. In the innovation through process improvement, I think we rank about 7th. Now that’s not where we wanna be, we’ve gotta be higher than that, that’s all you can say. It’s not a good position to be in and it reflects directly on leadership in business. While we might like to defend the fact that we have some leaders who are very entrepreneurial in terms of their application to innovation, the facts are saying that that’s not the case. So we need to look at the facts, and we need to not fly in the face of the facts.

IB: I think we have been a leader in applications of technologies in many ways, but what we haven’t been a leader in is understanding how that technology can transform your business. I think outside of the IT industry, if we reflect on the general business community, they’ve taken technology and used it effectively throughout their business, but what they really haven’t been doing is reflecting on how you use an opportunity for a whole new business model here, or transforming their business. If we can get that transformative thinking going, that’s the critical success factor for the national broadband network and making us more globally competitive as John has been saying.

Stay tuned to Computerworld for the second part of this interview

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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