Technology and Innovation: The Next Big Industry in Australia?


Well, it’s officially over. Our Aussie mining industry has gone from boom to burst bubble in just a little under 15 years. As projects wrap up and employment numbers are slashed, it’s time that we took a good hard look at ourselves. Did we take advantage of the wealth flowing into our economy, or did we squander it? And what does this mean for other sectors, is it finally time they got their day in the sun?

For as far back as many people can remember, it was semi-skilled labourers raking in the big dollars, funded by mining companies’ deep pockets. Even better off were managers overseeing them. But now that the boom is winding up, where will all the workers turn? And is it tech and innovation that will be the next big industry to take off?

The tangible and intangible

In Australia, and indeed in much of the world, we are moving away from tangible production jobs, such as mining or automobile production, as witnessed by the closure of all auto manufacturing plants across the country. When we can get cheap manual labour overseas, and indeed often locate plants overseas, there remains no reasonable excuse to keep this sort of work within Australia, except perhaps to keep jobs local (at the company’s expense), or to reduce the risk of exploiting poor countries.

With work like this being outsourced the country will now turn to the intangible. We will need to use our brain power to create jobs. This means that industries will grow where there are no cheaper alternatives. While you could hire cheap offshore Indian developers to complete your commercial software packages, most times you will find that the quality is not there, the cultural differences can strain project timelines, and communication is too difficult, leading to spiralling end dates, incomplete work, and poor quality code.

Tech sector growth

While Australia may have been slow to latch on the startup scene, it is now rapidly accelerating. There are initiatives in place to drive growth and encourage budding entrepreneurs to take a leap of faith. There are now systems in place for angel investing and the like. There are now students coming through educational systems, not with the dream to make the big bucks on the mines, but to jump on a cool new technology project, the next Uber, or Deliveroo.

While the brain drain continues to the US, with seniors defecting to take jobs at Amazon, Google, and Twitter, it is this new generation that we are likely to see take the tech sector by storm. They’re kids with bustling ideas, and a desire to get out there and make a change in their own environments. Getting juniors on board with the right ideas can make a huge difference, depending on how flexible and accommodating a company is.

Tech companies need to be able to follow the agile model in all facets. It is no longer acceptable to just do things “because that’s the way we’ve always done them”. Being able to see a way of doing things better, react, and pivot, is now crucial to moving businesses forward. To learn more about jobs in IT and your options reach out to us as or by phone on 02 9236 4500.


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