Mid-sized business report

Innovate or perish in Australia’s Technology & Media sector

Simon Coulton Simon Coulton

Innovate or perish – if not the motto for the Technology & Media sector, it is at least the theme song to which most businesses in this space dance to.

The sector is dynamic and fiercely competitive – and having a great product doesn’t guarantee success.

In Australia, we have a wide range of businesses in the sector – from the large and established telcos through to digital start-ups. And of course, technology is pervasive. Think about your own company – even if you don’t work in the sector, you are using technology to perform better, connect and manage your processes or provide a better client experience. Think about your home and social life – how you share and connect with friends and family, how you find that perfect recipe, research a fun family holiday. All powered by technology – and refined by algorithms that learn from your online behaviour to surface information and search results most relevant to you.

More than any other sector, technology is global – but locally we are fostering our own Technology & Media sector. It’s a relatively small sector, made smaller due to our sparse population and fewer incentives to innovate and commercialise than other jurisdictions. Yet Australians are early adopters of technology and some successful technology start-ups originated on our shores, like Atlassian, Afterpay, Nearmap and Canva.

There are some unique challenges in this sector – particularly for start-ups and the mid-sized tech companies. The ability to invest in research and development, as well as a tax system that hasn’t kept up with advancements in the sector can stymie companies in this space from getting to market first, and then scaling up.

Download our mid-sized business report to read the full Technology & Media insight.

Here is a short introduction to our three recommendations to help boost the Technology & Media sector:

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Access to R&D incentives and collaboration

Innovation in the tech sector is not a one-off project. It is continuous and it is constant. In the US, the top 15 companies for R&D spending were mostly from the technology sector – the top spot going to Amazon which spent US$22.6b in 2017.

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Global competitiveness and a lagging tax system

Put plainly, many tech companies move overseas because they can access more funding, better incentives, and a larger market in another jurisdiction. The UK is a great example of a jurisdiction that is not only attractive to tech companies, but regularly runs programs in places like Australia to entice tech companies to move their base or list on the AIM. How can we keep Australian tech companies here?

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Marrying a great product with great marketing

The experience of the product, and the client experience for issue resolution, technology updates and training can all influence whether or not a product will stand the test of time.

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