‘A sustainable, globally competitive, innovative digital economy is best enabled by a light touch, flexible, internationally competitive regulatory framework.’
Australia’s digital economy must be supported by an open and competitive market environment. This requires a regulatory framework enabling all players in the ICT sector to contribute and participate on an equal footing.
Preserving the open nature of the internet is fundamental to ensure rapid innovation continues across the ICT and media sectors.
Universal access to broadband technology, business and community participation in the digital economy depends on standards-based solutions supporting interoperability of systems, applications and devices.
‘Business and the community must be confident that they can actively, productively and safely participate in the digital economy.’
Australia’s progress towards a globally competitive digital economy must be supported by a clearly articulated national digital economy roadmap which involves government, business and community in its development and execution.
Business and community confidence to participate in the digital economy must be enabled by a clear and robust Digital Economy Policy Framework. The framework must give business and community confidence that Governments are addressing policy implications of the following areas as they impact users and business in an online environment:
- Identity Management
- Cyber Safety
- Intellectual Property
The Policy Framework must facilitate the development of ‘digital citizenship’ awareness programs to encourage users to protect themselves online where appropriate. It should also encourage the use of user-centric identity management systems which allocate risks appropriately and provide visibility, choice and control over processes that create or use personal identifying information in online transactions.
Privacy laws must be uniform across all jurisdictions to minimise costs and uncertainty to industry and increase user confidence.
Appropriate protection of intellectual property developed in an online environment must be available to all rights holders.
Governments and industry must develop proactive digital skills development and education programs that ensure Australia builds a competent and confident digitally enabled workforce.
Government must develop a proactive e-inclusion policy ensuring all businesses and consumers have the opportunity to actively and productively participate in the digital economy.
Australia requires a robust entrepreneurial eco-system and culture to facilitate the development of smart online applications. This requires a certain and flexible R&D legislative and administrative framework, a more effective venture capital system supporting high potential start-ups and programs supporting the commercialisation of innovative digital technology based products.
It is essential to drive confidence and industry momentum that Governments lead the way by being an early adopter of digital, innovative and convergent technologies.
‘The effectiveness of Australia’s digital economy will depend on our ability to leverage the opportunities it presents and to create new opportunities.’
Governments must provide advice about the business process transformation necessary to transition to an effective and efficient digital economy so that key stakeholders do not simply apply new technologies and applications to old business processes.
Governments must support small and medium sized businesses to enable them to effectively transition to and compete in, a national and global digital economy.
Industry should focus on the development of a diverse range of high quality digital content across al aspects of the Australian economy including health, education, transport, government and retail.
Government must take the lead role in transitioning to digital economy business solutions, including the development and use of Web 2.0 technologies and showcasing Australia as a leader in the new digital economy.
Governments must embrace and use new smart digital technology solutions to address current and emerging national and global environmental and sustainability issues.
‘The effectiveness of Australia’s contribution to and participation in the digital economy must be measured and our performance internationally benchmarked.’
Australia’s performance as a digital economy requires development of a metrics framework that
enables policy makers to benchmark national performance with comparable countries in the global digital economy. The metrics framework must address:
- productivity improvements
- improved export capability
- development and take up of smart digital technology applications across e-government, e-health, e-education, teleworking, e-commerce
- industry re-structuring impacts
- the economic and social benefits of the digital economy
- adoption and impact of ICTs across non-ICT sectors
The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy must work with industry to develop, measure and report on the performance of Australia’s digital economy.