OzTech: More investment on AI; WA improves data links; Tech Central’s $8M research fund; A/NZ software spending up; small businesses invest in tech again

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

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Australian spending on AI to reach $3.6B in 2025

Australia’s spending on AI systems will reach $3.6 billion by 2025, according to research firm IDC. Leading industries in AI spending will be banking, federal and central government, professional services, and retail. The use of AI by these industries are expected to be on:

  • Banking: To prevent fraud, identify threats, and improve recommendation systems.
  • Federal and central government: To detect, monitor, and respond to personnel and infrastructure threats.
  • Professional services: To provide better digital assistance by self-regulating and automating mundane software maintenance activities.
  • Retail: To improve customer service, provide expert shopping advisors and product recommendations, and optimise digital supply chain operations.

IDC predicts that 52.2% of AI spending will go into software for AI applications and platforms, AI system infrastructure software, and application development and deployment. Services will follow, with most investment going towards IT services and business services.

Western Australia improves data linkage

The Western Australia government announced an $8 million investment over four years for data linkage reforms and renewed capabilities across the public sector. The funding is part of the state government’s Digital Capability Fund and the project is a response to recommendations made by WA's chief scientist, Peter Klinken, who led a data-linkage review with the research, not-for-profit and public sectors, and a response to the state’s digital strategy.

Ten roles will be created at the Office of Digital Government to support building, operating, governing, and usage of a central data asset, on top of new equipment and services to ensure data security.

The reform aims to improve data linkages and support health and medical researchers to improve the health and well-being of all Western Australians. It is also expected to allow the WA government to improve services, and to ensure policy and decisions are based on relevant data.

NSW’s Tech Central opens $8M research and infrastructure fund

The New South Wales government has launched an $8 million research and innovation infrastructure fund within its Tech Central investment programme for universities, research organisations, industry, consortiums, and NSW-based National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facilities to provide specialised equipment, skilled experts, and collaborative programs with a focus on existing industry and research strengths across the precinct.

Project funding is expected to vary between $500,000 and $5 million per project, with a focus on supporting proposals that have a specialised physical or digital expenditure.

“This is about delivering innovation, R&D, and industry talent that will support the translation of world-class research into commercial outcomes, new technologies, services, and globally competitive cutting-edge industries,” said Alister Henskens, the minister for science, innovation, and technology and the minister for skills and training.

The state government is currently accepting applications.

A/NZ spending on software more than doubled in 2021

Customer relationship management, digital workflow and collaboration, enterprise resource management, and security products were the biggest drivers of spending in software across Australia and New Zealand in 2021, according to research firm IDC.

In 2021, the software market grew by 17.5%, IDC said— a big jump from 2020’s 8.5% growth.

Out of survival mode, small businesses resume tech investments

More than half (57%) of Australia and New Zealand small and medium businesses are out of survival mode, according to a survey of 1,011 organisations conducted by research firm IDC. These businesses are now focusing on growing and transforming their organisations.

For 2022, 67% of Australian small businesses indicate higher IT spending. IDC anticipates spending in cloud, cybersecurity, and laptops and PCs to increase the most.

Trends towards expanding application portfolios and increased complexity of deployments across cloud and on-premises environments will continue to create integration challenges for A/NZ small businesses, IDC said.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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