The digital job economy of Australia is witnessing an ‘invisible digital boom’.

Until a decade back, technology played the role of supporting customers and its implications in businesses and digital job economy were limited.

Today, technology has become an essential part of the core product across different industries, sectors and niches. We are witnessing significant implications with technology changes in a workplace, whether classified as ‘traditional’ and if in the IT sector or not.

In 2013-2014, the digital economy of Australia was estimated to be around $79 billion, contributing 5.1% to the Australian GDP. With the emergence of new technologies and growing penetration of technology in non-ICT industries, digital economy is expected to be worth $139 billion by the year 2020.

This forecasted figure indicates the growing role of computing power and communications in economy and business. It is even more surprising to find that almost 97% of this growth is expected to occur outside Information, Media and Technology industry.

New technological developments are triggering change and making an economic impact in the industries. Keeping in line with the forecasts, Australian Government has established ‘Industry Growth Centres’ to focus on areas of strategic priority across industries.

From cloud computing to social media, mobile to data analytics, businesses today are governed by a whole wave of digital disruption. New technologies are presenting an abundance of opportunities in Australia and the digital job economy needs to be positioned to take full advantage of them.

Over the coming years, new forms of technology like robotics, drones, artificial intelligence and 3D printing are expected to bring a new wave of disruption. Even consumers, workers and businesses in sectors that are not known to be heavily technologically dependent will be impacted by the digital pivot of existing as well as upcoming technologies.

The digital job economy pivot is being driven by –

  • Efficiency gains happening due to use of technology
  • Potential held by digital disruption to foster innovation
  • Diverse range of applications for different types of technology

In 2015, the ICT workforce constituted to around 5.4% of the total labour force in Australia. 53% of this workforce was employed in non-ICT related sectors like manufacturing, public administration, retail trade, health care and others.

The percentage of women in ICT workforce was only 28% that is almost the same as the percentage last year. Relatively low level of female representation is a large concern for ICT workers and the broader workforce of Australia.

Importance of professional development

It has become important for government and companies to engage in the professional development of ICT workforce. It involves options for workers to reskill or upskill themselves in ICT related areas and skills required by the business.

From vocational education to university education, in-company opportunities to certifications, workforce needs to be provided with different ICT skill development opportunities. By developing the digital skills of ICT workers and the broader workforce of Australia, businesses can ensure an adequate supply of skilled ICT workforce for future. Australian businesses need to become the driving force of digital economy now and in future. Initiatives need to be taken by the Australian government as well as businesses to keep up with the forecasted demand of ICT workforce in Australia.

Australian businesses need to become the driving force of digital economy now and in future. Initiatives need to be taken by the Australian government as well as businesses to keep up with the forecasted demand of ICT workforce in Australia.

Digital economy of Australia is expected to witness significant growth fuelled by the waves of digital disruption. Businesses need to start working on ICT skill development of their workforce to ensure that their workers’ skillsets remain relevant with evolving technology. Digital economy is further expected to trigger innovation and it will be impossible to be a part of this innovation without digital skills.