The Transformation of Australia: From Mining to Tech

Tony Simonsen
The Transformation of Australia: From Mining to Tech

Australia, prodigious in so many ways and instrumental to the world’s economy, will always grapple with a tyranny of distance. The distance, however, can also be viewed as a strength, as it keeps us on our toes and causes us to constantly think of new ways to innovate and transform our industries and businesses to keep up with the changing times.

Transformation has always underscored Australia’s development. As the Australian economy shifts from a manufacturing and mining based revenue centre to a technology, knowledge and services driven one, a raft of industries are refocussing their investment in the creation of new ways of working, collaborating and innovating services that expand their virtual footprint.

In fact, a recent report by Deloitte found that Australia is well prepared for the future and in a unique position to take advantage of shifting economic trends driven by technological development and the rise of information. However, the nation’s continued prosperity hinges on its ability to use technological prowess to find new solutions to old problems.

Today, industries in Australia that can effectively leverage the rising seas of information to improve productivity and cost-efficiency, will be those that will see swift success, resulting in more agile and adaptable businesses that can create new opportunities and maximize competitiveness, said the report’s author Deloitte’s Chief Edge Officer, Peter Williams.

One example of a company that’s successfully done this is Servcorp, an Australian based company that traditionally offered premium serviced office space products to its clients. As Servcorp watched its customers’ tech needs change over the years, it adapted to the times and transformed its traditional business model to meet these new demands.

Specifically, Servcorp saw that more and more customers were in need of mobile solutions to connect to customers and other businesses around the world. So, what did they do? They launched a VoIP application, Servcorp OneFone – a mobile application which allows customers to be contacted on a local telephone number via a cellular network. With the new technology offering in place, customers are able to remain cost effective as phone calls now run through the Internet, eliminating the need for regular long-distance telephone charges.

In addition to the transformation of industries, Australia is also seeing a transformation in the amount of global companies that have a presence in the country. While a few years ago, only the “big names” had a presence in Sydney, today, nearly every major global company has a presence. An advantage of this, that’s often overlooked, is that now locally based companies have access to partners with large international footprints, enabling local companies such as Servcorp to expand its business globally.

In Servcorp’s example, the company wanted to expand operations, but also wanted to consolidate infrastructure to minimize the capital expenditure associated with opening additional Servcorp offices around the world. To do this, they needed to partner with a global data center provider that would enable the company to have consistency across all operating regions while remaining cost-effective.

Equinix provided just that, as it had a local presence in Sydney and international reach. Servcorp was able to consolidate all significant infrastructure, decreasing it by 80% and expand rapidly in Singapore, Atlanta, which is servicing all US locations, and Tokyo. London and Dubai are next.

Plus, through Equinix’s global presence and carrier neutrality, Servcorp has been able to minimize setup time when deploying Servcorp OneFone. Being able to choose any network carrier to connect its application, Servcorp can now easily replicate its IT infrastructure at multiple locations with standard offerings anywhere around the world. Today, Equinix is enabling Servcorp to service its customers in 140 locations in 20+ countries.

Servcorp is just one example. However, the transformation of industries, the shift to IT services and the increasing presence of international companies is the type of evolution propelling Australia forward. As more global companies expand into Australia and as more businesses transform to meet today’s growing technology standards, Australia’s path for success is long.