26 September 2023

Commission open for online productivity

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The Productivity Commission is calling for input on how digital technology and data can be used to help improve Australia’s productivity.

Commissioner at the Productivity Commission, Stephen King said the 5-year Productivity Inquiry: Australia’s data and digital dividend Interim report identified a range of barriers that could limit further adoption of digital technologies.

Dr King said they included inadequate internet, lack of skills, uncertainty about benefits, security concerns, cost and legacy systems.

“We do well in Australia on basic aspects of technology and data use, like internet coverage, but are falling behind in more advanced areas such as business uptake of analytics and artificial intelligence,” Dr King said.

“We also need fast, reliable and affordable internet to enable businesses to take up advanced digital technologies,” he said.

“Government can help by improving investment in digital infrastructure, particularly in rural and remote Australia, forming digital partnerships with the private sector, and ensuring we have a future ready workforce.”

Dr King said digital technology and data would continue to shape global economic growth and social change in coming years.

“Whether we fully realise the productivity dividend offered by these opportunities will depend on how effectively Governments, businesses and individuals can recognise and safely harness these changes for Australia’s benefit,” the Commissioner said.

He said digital technology and data had already transformed Australia’s economy and society, “but we have not yet tapped into their full potential.”

Dr King said technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic automation and big data analytics could revolutionise how businesses operated and help lift Australia’s productivity growth by reducing costs, improving the quality of goods and services, and increasing product choice for consumers.

He said the Commissioner was inviting comment on the Interim Report until 7 October.

The Commission’s 104-page Interim Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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