Technology, media and telecommunications is at the centre of modern life. According to ACMA, 99% of Australian adults accessed the internet in the six months to June 2020.
In 2021 Australia ranked seventh in terms of video streaming penetration. Our data centre market in estimated to grow 4.5% (compound annual growth rate) between 2021 and 2026, in part due to increasing cloud computing and cyber security requirements. This is all enabled by our telecommunications sector – the backbone that connects everything.
This is an exciting environment, fast paced, changeable and disruptive. We work with our clients to navigate traditional complexities and take advantage of shifting trends.
Top trends in Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Issues impacting businesses in Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Tech enabled businesses high in M&A demand
Technology companies and tech enabled companies have been doing well in the M&A and IPO space for a number of years. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, and all kinds of investors – from the institutional to the private – are cherry picking opportunities that have already made the shift towards tech enablement.
Telecommunications and media in the throws of acquisitions and divestments
It’s not just technology experiencing activity, we’re seeing a lot of movement in the telecommunications and media space as well. Telecommunications in particular is looking to consolidate to build scale and market share. Media companies on the other hand, are facing challenges to traditional forms of media, like outdoor advertising or print press, and investing more in streaming services, social media and audio to tap into increasingly transient (and homebound) consumers.
The endless cycle of innovation in the tech sector
Disrupt or be disrupted is the mantra for the technology, media and telecommunications sector – and with WiFi, cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) proliferating the business environment, the opportunities for disruption has grown exponentially. Innovation is a competitive game, it’s not just about accessing the right incentives, it’s also ensuring you have a genuinely unique premise, protecting your IP and commercialising successfully. There are new grants and incentives being released to support research & development, collaboration and innovation – are you eligible for support?
Tech as a tax write-off?
In early 2020 the Federal Government introduced the Early Stage Innovation Companies (ESIC) incentive, providing short- and long-term tax incentives to investors that acquire shares directly from ESICs – a real boon to early stage technology companies looking to attract funding and investment. Also, in a clear indication that tech is an area of policy opportunity, the Federal Government introduced a surprise 30% Digital Games Tax Offset during the 2021-22 Federal Budget, which will come into effect from 1 July 2022. We’re sure there will be more to come and this is an area to watch.
Employee Share Schemes can help protect your IP
The technology sector has fully embraced employee share schemes as a way of attracting and retaining talent but also to protect IP. However, not all employee share schemes are created equal, and it’s important to match the kind of scheme you adopt with your business aspirations and the people outcomes you’re looking to achieve.
Monetising your data
Google receives nearly 85% of its revenue from user data insights. But you don’t need to be the size of Google to apply some their same thinking. It’s one thing most companies don’t do well – commercialising their customer data, often for fear of breaching privacy. However, there is a quid pro quo relationship between customer and consumer; people are prepared to give up a certain amount of data in return for a better and ‘contextualised’ user experience.
Taking advantage of the digital economy
Technology is the common theme amongst many of the Government’s policies. Technology to drive down emissions. Technology to deliver modern manufacturing. Technology to connect businesses to communities and regions. In fact, we can expect to hear more about how Australia will invest in becoming a world-leading digital economy. The Government is leading by example, investing in their own digital projects such as RegTech to streamline compliance, and creating apps as the ultimate gateway between citizens and government.
Tracking emerging trends
There is always a latest and greatest technology trend in the media – but just because it’s getting airtime, doesn’t mean it’s worth investing in. And when you do make embrace a new trend, it’s important to understand the implications for you and your business. Some trends and new entrants have not only stood the test of time, but have come to dominate the market. People used to question the security of cloud computing, now it’s embraced by big business. The ones to watch now include cryptocurrency, blockchain and AI – all at work in the marketplace but with as yet, untapped potential.
We cut through the complexity of compliance
Technology moves faster than regulation, but it’s still subject to requirements and obligations at both Federal and State levels. There is change happening all over the world to help create systems that better align with intangible transactions and services, until then it’s a balancing act to both remain compliant and respond to change when it eventually happens. Whether it’s tax, audit or risk, we cut through the compliance and complexity.
For instance, the recent IFRIC agenda decision on accounting for cloud computing and SaaS arrangements has impacted all entities that comply with Australian Accounting Standards.
Cyber security on the Board agenda
Cyber security and Board responsibility is not a new discussion. Heavily regulated industries – e.g. banks under APRA – are no stranger to cyber risk management as a key director duty. However, with the Cyber Security Strategy recommending changes to directors’ duties under the Corporations Act, directors across all sectors are likely to come under scrutiny – with the ASX 200 first cab off the rank.Learn more about how we can help your cyber resilience
Listen to our experts talk about trends and issues facing the technology, media & telecommunications sector right now.
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