Australia is now entering its 28th year of economic growth. GDP growth is at 2.8 per cent, unemployment a low 5 per cent.
The nation should be proud of its track record and I firmly believe that by accelerating digital transformation – by rolling out better services for customers and citizens, speeding the time to market for new and effective products, and achieving greater operational efficiencies – Australia and Australians will continue to prosper.
That’s why I’m particularly delighted to announce the opening of the Microsoft Technology Centre in Sydney.
The MTC is where we have a dedicated team of specialists who can reveal to Australian enterprise and government exactly how state-of-the-art technology from Microsoft and our partners can help digitally transform their operations and opportunities.
Working closely with enterprise and the public sector we can explore an enterprise’s unique challenges, canvas the opportunities – and hopefully extend their horizons so that organisations are optimised for today and prepared for tomorrow.
Invited enterprises can explore their digital opportunities through an envisioning theatre, an exploration showcase demonstrating Microsoft and our partners’ solutions, an innovation factory, social hub, cyber security room and workshop and boardroom areas.
It’s a proven model that Microsoft has used around the world – 47 globally- and we have a great track record of supporting enterprise customers with their digital transformation, that Australia can now benefit from.
The NSW Government is among the early movers. We’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation that will bring Department leads into the MTC to help them map, then accelerate Government’s digital transformation journeys.
We will also work with the NSW Government to develop an AI strategy for the State, incorporating ethical frameworks and citizen-centred services.
Developing tech intensity
This sort of forward-looking transformation is critical because we believe that there is a critical shift underway around what we call “tech intensity”.
Technology is no longer cooped up in the backrooms and boardrooms of businesses – it’s everywhere. It’s in our homes, in our schools, our cars, in the shops we visit, the businesses we support, and permeates every aspect of government.
To succeed in this tech intensive world, organisations – public and private – need to be fast adopters of best in class technology, and also build their own unique digital capabilities.
With strong technical foundations and the sort of capability and vision that comes from a switched on and skilled workforce, enterprises can transform into their best selves.
They can access the data needed to make good decisions and policy, get the insights to the right people fast, leverage their tech capability to respond rapidly to what the data is telling them, and also be able to collaborate and communicate with customers and citizens, with partners and peers.
Our partner DXC Technology has been quick to recognise the potential and has signed a world-first five-year partnership which will see us work together through the MTC to support the digital transformation journeys of our enterprise customers.
Success breeds success
The MTC is the latest in a series of significant investments by Microsoft to boost the tech intensity of Australian enterprise and the nation as a whole.
I don’t think there is better confirmation that we are on the right track than our own performance. I’m delighted to say that in the three months to the end of December 2018 Microsoft global revenues rose 12 per cent compared to the similar period in 2017, and reached $US32.5 billion.
The quarterly results also show that our commercial cloud revenues grew 48 per cent year-over-year to $US 9 billion. All over the world organisations are embracing cloud for the agility, responsiveness, scale and trust that it delivers – all of which are critical to successful digital transformation.
Our success means that in the last 24 months alone Microsoft Australia has been able to:
- establish the National Skills Program in Australia to support employees and enterprise as they progress their digital transformation. This helps us upskill and reskill workers, including people who are starting out in their careers, people who are having to shift to new roles because their industries have been disrupted, and people who need new skills to remain relevant.
- launch the Microsoft Traineeship Program which focuses on helping aspiring trainees, including school-leavers and career-changers, to enter the IT industry.
- open two new data centres in Canberra to support public sector and national critical computing;
- open the Microsoft Reactor in the Sydney StartUp Hub – where we work with local start-ups to accelerate their progress;
- At the same time we have grown our workforce – allowing us to better support clients and the 10,000 plus Australian partners who work with us here.
The MTC takes our commitment to the next level as we partner with organisations to bring together the right resources – people and technology – at the right time for maximum impact.
Tags: Microsoft Australia