Part 3: Industry Leaders on the Future of the Tech Industry

Image 2022 01 25 T00 34 45

A recent report by the Tech Council of Australia found that in FY21, the tech sector contributed $167bn to the Australian economy


The report notes that: “The growth potential of the sector means that it will actively cement its place as a pillar of the Australian economy over the next decade, surpassing the contribution of the primary and manufacturing industries.” With the industry not slowing down anytime soon, we asked seven tech leaders for their thoughts on the future of the tech industry.


You can read Part 1: Industry Leaders On Attracting Tech Talent, and Part 2: Industry Leaders On Developing Tech Talent.


1.     The Tech Council found that Australia performs well in tech adoption but is behind globally in terms of innovation and creation. How do you ensure your company continues to drive innovation for the future?  


  • Jane Cronin, Director, Digital Innovation and Cloud Engineering: “I see innovation as everyone’s role: people-led innovation is the best kind. Building a product or innovation-focussed culture is key. We’ve done this by bringing cross pollinated teams together across business, experience and technology (BXT) squads, allowing us to redefine how our people engage with one another and with our clients. Embedding this new way of working has allowed for innovation to thrive amongst our people and deliver better outcomes, faster.”

  • Sue Steel, Chief People & Culture Officer, BizPay: “We always take the company on the journey of our current innovation projects, enlightening staff with incoming innovation programs. Also, we have biannual hackathons to encourage cross-functional innovation and spread the spirit of innovation.”

  • Harry Nakichbandi, Chief Information Officer, Eclipx: “With our customer-first approach, we ensure that we’re embedding the customer voice through anything we do. When our team listens to our customer's wants, desires, and pain points firsthand, they then develop solutions that are always focused on building head-turning experiences to achieve a high customer satisfaction.”

  • Helen Harms, General Manager Cloud & Operations, Metcash: “We’re rapidly moving to agile ways of working. Self-organising cross-functional teams know the priority problems to solve and what solutions will work (and importantly, what will not work), as solving real problems drive innovation.”

  • Emma Caruso, Technology Manager and Coach: “Staying current, knowing what’s coming and giving people opportunity. Innovations is not only technology – it can also be around people and process. We do a lot of market research as well as different networking avenues.”

  • Ray O’Sullivan, Chief Revenue Officer, Claxon: “Our ambition is to hero transformative growth at all times. We focus on customer experience and work backwards to business processes and technology. Ensuring growth and brand strategies are underpinned by CX and technology is key to innovation. We’re then lucky to amplify this in the market through our award-winning performance marketing department. It's then a case of test and learn with smart data analytics and performance optimisation. It's the innovation cycle.”

  • Sarah Simpson, Head of Product, Programmed Health: “Build a culture that truly has the customer at the centre, and a culture that is willing to challenge the status quo to be better. With new tech always on the horizon and new market entrants, companies need to continue to iterate their business model and customer experience to ensure they retain a competitive edge.”


2.    Where do you see the Australian tech sector in five years?


  • Harry: “The Tech sector must continue to evolve and rapidly grow. Artificial intelligence and data will lead the next era. There will be a lot more focus on sustainability-led solutions, which will in turn accelerate the AI revolution to meet the demand of rapid change in a lot of core industries that have not necessarily reinvigorated their products in a long time.”

  • Jane: “Australia has some amazing local tech successes, but we are going to see that pace accelerate. Emerging technologies are a lot more mainstream in the US and Europe than we experience in Australia, and I think we are going to see that change significantly within Australia – not to mention the role of tech in helping the government and big business solve for ESG.”

  • Helen: “Ask me in five years! Who would have imagined two years ago that organisations would be able to operate successfully during a global pandemic. I’d love to see tech used to address the significant global and humanitarian issues we face today. Great progress on these fronts could be made in half a decade with the right focus and investment.”      

  • Emma: “I don’t think it’s going to look anything like it does today. When you look at the graduates coming through, they’re bringing a breath of fresh air and diversity of thought. It will be exciting to see where it’s at in five years’ time!”

  • Sue: “Leading innovation in artificial intelligence, blockchain and crypto currency. A great combination of UX and scalable applications seems to be the road forward with the Australian tech sector over the next five years.”

  • Ray: “Ahead. The Aussie spirit will ensure the industry continues to drive forward and access to funding and investment allows those with great ideas to shine on the global stage. It’s very exciting to be a part of this industry in this country right now! We need to ensure policy and legislation keep up, and that we can attract the right talent from around the world.”

  • Sarah: “The tech industry is only going to get bigger and continue to thrive in Australia. I envisage more in organisations having ‘tech roles’, and more companies transforming into, or acquiring tech companies.”