OzTech: Australia, UK partner for safer cyberspace; IT services spend to reach $41B in 2023; Aussie-led quantum breakthrough

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

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Australia and UK partner for safer cyberspace

The Australian and the UK governments have partnered with the promise to “shape a positive technology environment and maintain an internet that is open, free, peaceful, and secure”.

The Cyber and Critical Technology partnership was signed by Marise Payne, Australia’s minister for foreign affairs and for women, and Elizabeth Truss, the UK’s secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth, and development affairs and minister for women and equalities.

The first initiatives of the partnership will be to:

  • Increase deterrence by raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyberspace—including through strategic coordination of their cybersecurity sanctions regimes.
  • Strengthen the resilience and response capabilities of countries in the Indo-Pacific region to malicious cyber activity via joint capacity building. This will include tackling the increasing threat from ransomware through a joint initiative delivered in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • Develop an action plan on global standard-setting to ensure global standards deliver on their security priorities and economic interests and that reflect their values.
  • Advance the Women in Cyber agenda, including through their Women and International Security in Cyber Fellowship.

No specific timeline for the initiatives has been made public.

The partnership is part of a trilateral defence innovation and technology alliance among Australia, the UK, and the US, named AUKUS. As a result, this week AUCloud announced a partnership with UK software company Arqit for the use of its sovereign quantum encryption service, Federated Quantum System (FQS), in Australia.

Spending in IT services to surpass $41B in 2023

Spending on IT services is expected to have the second-highest spending growth in 2022, up 6.1% from 2021 to reach $39.2 billion and up again 6.2% in 2023 to reach $41.6 billion, according to latest data from Gartner.

Within IT services is business and technology consulting, which is expected to grow 8.3% to $8.5 billion in 2022. The research firm expects organisations to further their reliance on external consultants “as the greater urgency and accelerated pace of change widen the gap between organisations’ digital business ambitions and their internal resources and capabilities”.

As previously reported, Gartner expected the Australian government—federal, state, and local—to spend $6 billion on IT services alone in 2021, with a 7.2% growth expected for 2022, or more than $6.4 billion.

Overall spending in IT products and services will exceed $111 billion in 2022, an increase of 6.3%. The growth for 2023 is expected to slow to 4.9% and total more than $116 billion; this slower rate can be mostly attributed to a decline of 5.5% in devices sales. Enterprise software is expected to maintain a steady growth.

Aussie-led quantum breakthrough

Australian researchers have found the possibility of near-error-free quantum. The research led by the University of New South Wales, in partnership with the US, Japan, Egypt, University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Melbourne, reached 99% error-free quantum computing in silicon.

“When the errors are so rare, it becomes possible to detect them and correct them when they occur. This shows that it is possible to build quantum computers that have enough scale, and enough power, to handle meaningful computation,” said UNSW’s Andrea Morello.

The research achieved one-qubit operation fidelities up to 99.95%, and two-qubit fidelity of 99.37%.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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