A quick look at the world’s largest tech companies reveals many brands who are either based in North America or Asia. Brand names like Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are household names now, and there are big questions about whether Australia’s fledgeling tech scene has what it takes to catch up.
Leading figures in the Australian technology industry such as WiseTech founder Richard White recently joined growing calls for more of an effort to be made to fund the nation’s start-ups adequately. But are things really that bad in Australia’s technology sector?
Australian Technology Companies Leading The Way
There’s something of a misconception that Australia has been little more than a passive consumer in the technology world. But there is plenty of evidence of technological growth in the nation. Many rising legal betting sites can be found here, and they are showing that entrepreneurs are using the technological powers of the internet to overcome the somewhat restrictive legislation that has hampered the growth of many industries such as sports betting.
Other brands like Atlassian got listed on NASDAQ as a result of the innovative way that they build platforms and software tools for several businesses in different industries. Key among its developments is JIRA that allows for easy project management, while Trello is a popular piece of team-working software. Although these might not be headline-grabbing pieces of software, it shows that Australian brands can understand how to use internet technologies to improve our productivity.
Computershare was one of Melbourne’s first major start-ups, and they have become renowned for their computer bureau services for share registrars. And the ASX-listed Xero delivers quality accounting software for small businesses and has gained a foothold in over 180 countries. All of which shows that Australia has a vibrant technology scene that could be ready to take things to the next level.
What’s hampering the progress of Australian tech companies?
Many people have speculated that Australia has stayed rooted in traditional primary industries for too long. With sectors like mining helped provide work for previous generations, Australia is running the risk of being left behind in a global economy which is becoming highly digitised.
While Australia’s geographical isolation has previously hampered its growth in other industries, the interconnected nature of many technology companies means that there should be no such problem in the future.
But Australia has reportedly garnered around one-third less of the value that similar countries have earned through digital endeavours. That can be seen in a recent report that stated that digital technologies account for 7.4% of Australia’s GDP compared to over 11% for most advanced economies.
We know that many Australian tech companies clearly cannot find the same level of investment that is available for digital brands in other nations. But with projections estimating that digital innovation can bring in $315 billion in economic value to the nation over the next ten years, it looks like there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Some Of Australia’s Hottest Start-ups
There are a growing number of promising Australian start-ups that are suggesting big things for the nation’s technology industry. From artificial intelligence brands such as Mantel Group to insurance technology brands such as Cover Genius, it seems that there’s plenty of diversity in Australia’s fledgeling tech domain.
Some brands like Sonder have even been snapped up by Apple in a clear indication of how much potential there is in Australia’s tech scene. What’s clear is that investment is essential if Australia is going to avoid the risk of missing out on the benefits of the digital revolution.
But with exciting endeavours in fields ranging from digital agricultural and smart exploration to data-intensive urban management, it seems as though Australia’s tech companies could be facing a shiny new future.