The Australian government's current focus on the 'Ideas Boom' has put technology and innovation at the heart of the national conversation. But while the talk is positive, many in the tech space have their own views on whether Australia is making the transition from resources boom to ideas boom quick enough. What can we do today to make Australia a world leader of innovation tomorrow?
Pureprofile CEO Paul Chan was invited to join a panel discussion on the Australian tech sector and the opportunities it presents for investors and the national economy. Hosted by PR and communications agency Buchan, the panel included four other CEOs of ASX-listed tech companies plus industry analysts.
Paul and the panel members offered personal insights on their experiences as listed companies, plus suggestions on how Australia can truly become the global tech hub of tomorrow.
Here are three key takeaways:
3 things Australia needs to get right to become an innovation-led economy
1) Attract and retain diverse talent
For Australia to be a world leader in innovation it needs the people to drive it. Paul told the panel that although finding the best people for tech roles had been relatively easy in the startup days, it was now proving more challenging as the industry evolved.
Megan Boston, CEO of Omni Market Tide, a stakeholder engagement app development company, highlighted the need to ensure visas could be obtained for key tech talent to reduce turnover and enable companies to retain their best people.
2) Make technology the next ‘cool career’
While the Gen Xers and Yers have seen huge growth in tech-led jobs during their working lifetimes, it's the Gen Zeds and Gen Alphas (today's schoolchildren and toddlers) that will see a hugely different playing field. And the panel were keen to stress the importance of early education in forming Australia's future tech innovators.
Paul and Andrew Ronchi, of DorsaVi, a wearable tech company specialising in elite sports and occupational health and safety, agreed Australia needs to focus on making technology and entrepreneurship 'cool'. Andrew said focusing on the curriculum was vital and highlighted the need for more female role model coders to encourage girls to choose technology as a career path.
3) Market itself as the best place to work in the world
Australia, and Sydney in particular, have a huge opportunity to become the epicentre for the next generation of innovation and technology companies in the same way Silicon Valley transformed the San Francisco Bay area.
Noting that Australian companies had a history of 'punching above their weight' globally, Paul called for other companies to get behind the concept of 'Silicon Harbour' – using Sydney as a key selling point to attract international talent and entrepreneurship, as well as drive innovation throughout Australia.
He said: "There's a very big opportunity with Bays Precinct... Overseas people need to see Sydney as destination where tech companies can innovate and thrive."
Join Pureprofile and other Sydney-based tech companies to help drive future innovation by supporting Silicon Harbour.