An $800 million investment package aims to help COVID-19 hit businesses, to handle the switch to digital ways of working.
The investment is a part of a drive by the Federal Government to make Australia a ‘global frontier of technological adoption’ in the wake of the pandemic.
The JobMaker Digital Business Plan hopes to increase GDP by $6.4 billion by 2024 with the transition to a more streamlined and remote-friendly digital work environment.
The lockdowns have forced businesses to quickly adapt to a new approach. While most employees have welcomed the switch to remote working change, it has highlighted some challenges.
A recent survey by Webexpenses identified the top three issues faced by employees since moving to remote operations work were:
- 62% Access issues (documents, networks, software)
- 19% Supporting colleagues to use technology
- 18% Inadequate equipment and tools
Any traditional processes that rely on the physical handling of documents, such as the handling of expense receipts, will struggle when trying to manage the demands of a distributed workforce.
The research found that 93% of respondents were hoping that the pandemic would act as a catalyst for greater digital change within their business.
It’s the kind of change the Digital Business Plan is designed to accelerate. Announcing the package, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated:
“Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things.
“Our JobMaker Digital Business Plan provides significant backing to continue that digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs.
“The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy.”
The Digital Business Plan includes:
- $256.6 million to develop a Digital Identity system to improve engagement with government services.
- $419.9 million to complete implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program.
- $29.2 million to accelerate the rollout of 5G.
- $3.6 million to support the adoption of electronic invoicing by government agencies.
- $2.5 million to connect workers and SME businesses to digital skills training.