NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet says governments can reap rewards by digitising services. Source: AP
Enterprise must come to terms with the culture of the millennial generation that will dominate the workforce within 10 years.
At an opening address at the CeBIT Australia technology fair today, NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet said the millennials, those born from around 1980 to 2000, was unlike any generation that had come before.
“Research shows that they are unattached to organised religion, unaffiliated with political parties, overburdened by debt and distrustful of institutions. They are sceptical of big government, and more likely to be social entrepreneurs than public servants.
“By 2025, just ten years from now, they will make up almost 75 per cent of the workforce, a shift I believe that will have profound implications for government and the use of technology.”
Mr Perrottet said the most defining characteristic of millennials was that they were digital natives, the first generation younger than the internet itself, mobile dominant, always connected, and prolific users of social media.”
He said the march of the millennials was one reason governments needed to reorganise and digitise services.
He said preliminary research by Adobe and Deloitte Access Economics estimated a dividend of $100’s millions that governments can reap by digitising services.
In NSW there were more than 10,000 government forms available to complete, one was submitted more than 300,000 times, with a slug to the taxpayer of up to $12m. The NSW Government spent $50m on postage which was “a lot of letters in the digital age”, employed 3000 keyboard operators, and sent out 1.8 million cheques each.
Some 300 people were employed to fold, stuff and manually fill out envelopes.
He said political parties complained that the youth weren’t engaged, but even his own Liberal Party sought to get them to join by downloading a PDF file from its website, sign and mail back in.
He said millennials had no time for the complex web of legislation administered by government, including regulation that inhibited the rise of start-ups.
He said government was heading towards a “Netflix version of government” with smart services, when you want them, how you want them, and where you want them.
In a short video address at the start of proceedings, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the federal government was implementing its $400m industry, innovation and competitiveness agenda to aid technology development.
He said more than 870,000 businesses and families were now connected to the National Broadband Network, and the government was cutting $2.4n in red tape that so often crippled innovation and dampened the entrepreneurial spirit.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city was Australia’s leading centre for ICT and technology start-ups. Some 15 per cent of all Australian ICT sector jobs and 64 per cent of Australian tech start-up companies were in Sydney.
Greater Sydney housed the Australian headquarters for Google, IBM, Dimension Data, Dropbox and Microsoft. The council was refining a plan for supporting start-ups as part of its economic development strategy to be considered this year.
The CeBIT Australia technology fair will continue until Thursday at Sydney’s Olympic Park.