The digital future is now

Published on
April 18, 2013

Kieran headshot squareAustralians are well known for their early adoption of new technology, but while consumers are digitally-literate, the same cannot be said for many companies.

Many Australian businesses claim to be digitally-savvy, but only a third of them actually are (The Brisbane Digital Audit, November 2012).

Yet the global digital economy is worth trillions.

In Brisbane that’s about to change, thanks to a new Digital Brisbane strategy launched by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk recently.

It is Australia’s first city-wide digital strategy to focus primarily on the impact of increased digital uptake on the economic development of the city.

Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Kieran O’Hea (pictured) is at the helm of the Digital Brisbane strategy, and describes it as a roadmap for local businesses to increase their digital maturity and become more efficient, profitable and competitive as a result.

“Economic modelling tells us that a one per cent increase in the digital readiness of the city will create a 35 per cent increase in productivity growth, and add $560 million annually to the local economy,” Kieran said.

“The implications for businesses are profound.   The strategy aims to position Brisbane at the forefront of the digital economy by doubling the number of businesses selling online, and supporting up to 250 digital start-ups.

So what does this digital strategy mean for Queensland businesses?

It means increasing the digital capability of thousands of Brisbane businesses and encouraging budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge and start up new companies.

The program will also include advanced forums for experienced digital operators, tailored training and mentoring, and courses and programs in digital economics and entrepreneurialism.

This might be the very opportunity Brisbane’s next Larry Page, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg has been waiting for.

Kieran said that in some countries, spending on foreign websites was inversely proportional to the availability of local online products and services.

“The Digital Brisbane strategy will have a positive impact on both businesses and consumers,” he said.

“It will also grow our city’s reputation for digital participation, innovation and education.”

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Image: Kieran O’Hea, Brisbane Chief Digital Officer