Table of Contents
Aim and Objectives of the Report.
The current situation for Australian Businesses (Large and SMEs) online presence.
Strengths and Areas to Focus for improvement for Australian businesses’ online presence.
Impact of IT sector on other businesses.
SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) yet to embrace Information and Technology in Australia.
Information and technology provide business to grow and innovate and explore various markets by providing them key asset for a business that is data for making correct decisions and technology to launch new products and improve the existing one. This report investigates the growth prospects of the large and small and medium enterprises in Australia through online presence.
All business regardless their size and sector needs information for making better business strategies. Rapid increase in Digital Market has increased the need for information and technology. Especially in the case of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which generates maximum number of employees and improves GDP of Australia.
This report indicates the impacts of Information and Technology on various sectors of the Australian business. Special focus on the growth of SMEs has been made with the help of online engagement.
Information technology (IT) has developed and evolved over many years and business enterprise cannot imagine initiating a project or a business proposal without this technology, this has not only facilitated our lives but also reduced the time consumed in collecting relevant data for conducting research and development for a business and a project. Data is considered to be the most valuable asset for a business enterprise as it facilitates firms in making better policies and strategies, developing new technologies and launching new product line according to the needs and requirements of a customer which further adds value to the business. All businesses regardless their size and sector need data and information technology to makes informed decisions in Australia, specially SMEs in Australia. The Australian Government (Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, 2018) emphasizes that Australia’s data, digital skills and digital infrastructure including information technology such as the internet depends on Australian businesses. Data from Australian Bureau and Statistics indicate that mostly SMEs generate highest number of employment and contribute towards the growth of Australian economy. Many diversified sources evealed that many business enterprises create their own websites to promote their business and generate higher revenues by expanding their market. SMEs use digital marketing strategies such as creating websites and promotion through social media platforms to enjoy better business outcomes and better business prospects (Deloitte, 2018). The main purpose of this report is to highlight the current situation with Australian businesses online presence and identify strengths and areas that need attention for improvement, including large and SMEs.
The aim of this report is to analyze the current situation with Australian Business online presence and identify the strengths and areas that need to be focused for improvements including large and SMEs. It specially focuses on the current situation for Australian SME’s online presence. The objectives of the report are mentioned below:
The findings oh this reports are based on 1000 SMEs telephonic interview and 100 large scale businesses across Australia. The data for the SMEs sample has been weighted, based on business size, industry and location to guarantee that the sample is reflective to all large and SMEs across Australia.
According the recent research by Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015), more than half of the total businesses do not have an online website and less than 20% of the medium sized businesses do not have an online presence. Only 47.1% of the businesses in Australia have an online websites to expand their operation which remains unstable. The survey also revealed that 63% of the Micro businesses with less than 4 staff and 41.9% of the small businesses with more than 4 and less than 19 staff do not have an online website. Even medium sized businesses with more than 19 and less than199 employees have no online presence. Approximately, 14% of the agro based, forestry and fishery business have online presence and about 40% of construction business have a website. However, even in the information, telecommunication and media industry more than 25% of the businesses surveyed do not have a website.
Technological workforce in Australia has increased by an average of 2.5% per annum from the year 2011-2018. According to the recent statistical research conducted by ABS (2018) revealed that approximately 723,334 workers are currently employed in the field of technology. Technological occupations related to technical, professionals and operational roles have increased by 42,328 between 2017 and 2018. The technological workforce’s share in Australia to total workforce has increased from 5.4% in 2017 to 5.7% in 2018, representing the importance of technological workforce for better growth in economy.
The participation of women technological roles was 28% of overall workforce in 2017. However, there has been an improvement in the participation of women in ICT sector according to recent Statistics, which has increased by 1% in 2018 (ABS, 2019). Even thought women employees makes one third of Australian ICT workforce but significant differences are cab be seen in their average incomes. According to DEA (2018) the average pay gap was 18% in 2017 which has increased by 2% in 2018, not only women but old employee who are 50 and above are also under paid. The number of old workers in the field of technology has increased from 15% to 16% between 2017 and 2018.
The exports of IT services in Australia increased from $2.93 billion in 2016-2017 to $3.78 billion in 2017-2018. As a result ICT service trade surplus increased from $170 million to $515 million.
Australian Government invested $402 million in 2016-2017 on ICT research and development and grew $17 million between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. On the other hand business expenditure on ICT research and development was $6.6 billion in 2015-2016. Furthermore, public investment in artificial intelligence in Australia is quite low as compared to other countries. Australian government expenditure on AI programs between 2017 and 2022 was approximately $30 million which very low as compared to Canada and Singapore which is $131 million and $151 million respectively. According to recent studies it was discovered that Australia’s performance in AI technologies was comparatively low than other developed nations in the world (Deloitte, 2018).
Workforce in IT sector in Australia is boosting up day by day and it is expected to increase more in the upcoming years. As all the business sectors in Australia are digitalizing the demand and supply of technological worker has become elevated. According to recent statistics research Australia’s technological workforce will increase by 100,000 workers in the next 5 years from now with average growth of 2.3% per annum and more than 80% of these employees are expected to be working in ICT management & operations, ICT technical and professional, ICT sales and trades. There are some other industries which requires the assistance of technological workers and that is the Health Care Industry. According to forecasts made the demand for technological worker will increase by 7.3% per annum and adding more than 9,000 employees over this period. The main reason behind this growth is the desire of people to live longer.
This industry has been growing at a fast pace over the years but in order to increase the profits and build a strong economy through this industry technological worker may require another 164,000 qualifications along with 121,000 of these in higher level post graduate and under graduate degrees.
Many businesses use Information and Technology for better growth and prospects for the business. Some of the IT tools used by businesses are: Internet connection, broadband, social media and E-commerce. The table below shows importance of various tools of IT in Australia.
More than 50% of the businesses use internet connection on daily basis and reported that mobile internet was the essential for their businesses as they can attract customers and run their businesses with the help of mobile apps which them to connect with their customers, build brand image and further earn huge profits. Operating business online is not as simple as it seems to be as 16% of the businesses have experienced security issues and breaches. At the end of the year 2016 many business enterprises adopted one management practice for the use of ICT and the most common adopted strategy was the contacting of external IT consultants.
Agricultural, forestry and fishing Industry using information and technology has the potential to raise $9.5 billion of economic output through private businesses but more than 61% of agricultural, forestry and fishing businesses reported security issues and breaches and also experienced corruption of hardware as well as software and over 30% of these industries also reported insufficient knowledge of cloud computing services. It was also discovered that 17% of agricultural, forestry and fishing Industry do not have access to digital infrastructure. Therefore, these industries use wireless mobile connections (28%), fixed wireless (22%), and satellite (15%) as the main form of internet connection.
Mining Industry using internet and mobile services has the potential to grow $19 billion of economic output through private sector and according to statistics analysis it is discovered that 18% of businesses in mining industries considered data analytics as being of major importance while other 18% indicated that it was not that important for their business. Around 16% of businesses in mining industries reported that they have experienced security breaches while other 11% were adversely affected by theft of confidential information.
Using information and technology wholesale trade industry can contribute up to $28.4 billion from private sector. Recent research revealed that more than 40% of wholesale trade industries use information and technology for gather information in order to research on market trends and make future strategies for business. Unlike other industries, 21% of businesses in these industries also experienced security breaches which further led to limited use of paid cloud computing, which is only 11%.
Approximately $25.7 billion can be raised through internet and mobile technology in finance and insurance industry. Financial and insurance services industries use information and technology on regular basis to make calculative future decisions and investments plans. The most common reason that they prevent using paid cloud computing is security risks and breaches which is approximately 22%. Ambiguity of the location of data was also found by 16% of the businesses in this industry.
Information, Media and Telecommunication Industries use information and technology the most and around 57% of these businesses use paid cloud computing services and out of these, 83% of the businesses reported that they use paid cloud computing services for software and can contribute $14.4 billion from private businesses. Over two third of the businesses in Information, Media and Telecommunication Industries faced security incidences which further led to loss of staff productivity.
There is no doubt that SMEs can make use of information and technologies for better business prospects in future by identifying threats in advance and make use of opportunities in best possible way. It is possible when a SME setup into digital market. Digitalization increases the competition and sometimes might also reveal some confidential information important for businesses but it also expands the market for existing and new products which further leads to generation of higher revenues. SMEs can make a significant use of mobile and internet technologies to boost an additional $49.2 billion of private sector output over ten years (GEM). Looking at the figures in geographical terms SMEs, nationally every Federal electorate has the potential to contribute almost $327.7 million over the next ten years. In New South Whales there are $16 billion potential to boost economic output by 273,770 SMEs. SMEs can gain economic growth by using internet and mobile are as follows:
It is quite evident that information and technology are not only use to connect with our friends and family but is also an essential part of Business environment. With proper education and awareness it can assist us in making better and informed decisions by comparing pros and cons through detailed research. All businesses regardless their size and sector need data and information technology to make calculative decisions specially SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). It is observed that the engagement of SMEs in digital market in Australia is quite low as compared to other developed nations but with required skills and knowledge it can help SMEsin expansion and better business proposals. Furthermore, it can help in generating huge profits which will help in improving GDP of the nation and increase employment opportunities. Information and technology has many advantages but it can also have some negative impacts which have to be taken care by every business, it can increase the competition or confidential information can be leaked if proper cautions are not taken. On the brighter side it can widen the horizon for new and fulfilling opportunities for individuals, organization and government. At last, Australian government should take initiatives to promote SMEs to go digital because they are the backbone of the nation and invest their capital resources on AI (Artificial Intelligence) programs for further progress of the nation.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Industry, 2010–11, cat. no. 8155.0, ABS, Canberra, 2012.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, cat. no. 5206.0, ABS, Canberra, 2012.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Small Business Operators—Findings From the 2005 and 2006 Characteristics of Small Business Surveys, 2005–06, cat. no. 8127.0, ABS, Canberra, 2008
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2011, cat. no. 6359.0.0, ABS, Canberra, 2012.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Innovation in Australian Business, 2010–11, cat. no. 8158.0, ABS, Canberra, 2010.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI Small Business Survey, (various releases), ACCI, Canberra, 2012.
Baker, T. & Nelson, R. E. (2005)., Creating Something From Nothing: Resource Construction through Entrepreneurial Bricolage, Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(30), 329–366.
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