OzTech: A profile in Australian tech usage; 5G-enabled smartphones now lead in Australia; Free IT training for veterans in NSW; Telstra launches business awards

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

oztech roundup
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A profile in tech usage: Australian businesses’ IT trends

Results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Business Characteristics Survey show that 55% of Australian businesses used paid cloud computing in 2019-20, compared to 42% in 2017-18. This includes the use of cloud-based software, computing power, and storage capacity.

Cloud technology (57%) and cybersecurity software (26%) were the most common IT technologies used by businesses. Of ‘innovation active’ businesses—which the ABS defines as those that introduced any type of innovation or had innovation under development or abandoned during the reference period—12% reported using internet of things (IoT) technology.

The survey found four main factors preventing or limiting businesses from using IT technologies: lack of skilled persons in the business (13%), unsuitable internet speed (13%), uncertainty around the cost/benefit ratio (12%), and insufficient knowledge of the technologies (12%).

The proportion of businesses that reported internet security incidents or breaches continues to decline: 8% in 2019-20, compared with 11% in 2017-18 and 16% in 2015-16. In 2019-20, 20% of all businesses reported having upgraded their cybersecurity software, standards, or protocols as part of their management practices for the use of IT technologies.

The survey of about 7,000 businesses was conducted online.

5G-enabled smartphones now tops in Australia

5G-enabled smartphones have surpassed others in the first quarter of 2021, reaching a 55% market share according to recent data from research firm IDC.

An improving economy and 5G availability through Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone have prompted consumers look for 5G-enabled devices such as the Apple iPhone 12 series released in late 2020 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 series released in early 2021. There is also an increased range of 5G devices, including low-cost models from a variety of Android brands. IDC reported that consumers had 36 models of 5G-ready phones to choose from in the first quarter of 2021.

IDC noted that not all 5G devices in the country are connected to a 5G network; 5G availability in Australia remains limited, and 5G-enabled phones fall back to LTE networks when 5G is not available.

NSW government offers free training for veterans

The New South Wales government has launched the Veteran Skills Program, which gives free access to veterans and their partners to more than 1,000 courses under the Smart and Skilled program. This covers areas such as project management, information security analyst, and mechanical engineering.

Courses from Certificate II to Advanced Diplomas from more than 450 registered training organisations are available to eligible learners.

The free training is part of the NSW government’s Veterans Strategy to support more than 200,000 former Australian Defence Force personnel across the state. The government’s existing NSW Veterans Employment Program has helped 1,094 veterans find new roles in the public sector.

Telstra launches awards for small and medium businesses

Telstra has announced the Telstra Best of Business Awards, which will recognise small and medium businesses in Australia that are driving innovation across eight categories.

Anyone can nominate businesses with less than 200 employees until July 12. Telstra is yet to reveal the date winners will be announced, but the there are three stages and finalists will learn more about it on 3 August 2021.

Of the eight categories, three involve, or could involve, technology efforts:

  • Championing Health: For businesses focused on innovative solutions, improving health outcomes for every Australian.
  • Embracing Innovation: For businesses innovating with technology to develop solutions for challenges faced by modern Australia.
  • Promoting Sustainability: For businesses reducing their environmental impact by driving sustainable change within their industry for a cleaner and healthier planet.

The other five categories are Outstanding Growth, Accelerating Women, Indigenous Excellence, Building Communities, and Progressing Australia – Local Leadership.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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