Is Turnbull’s policy for the digital economy a focus in the wrong area?

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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It seems like every business is rethinking the impact of digital communication, including us here at Inbound Experts, particularly because we are regionally based organisation. For us, being connected means using digital platforms to take our messages and our products further.

In light of our own considerations, I was interested to read the Coalition’s ‘Policy for E-Government and The Digital Economy’ launched by Malcolm Turnbull today.

Central to this strategy is to have virtually all government interactions with the public as digital interactions. The examples provided by Mr Turnbull included video conferencing, smartphones as well as an ‘electronic pigeon hole’ (sounds like they just mean ’email address’). As sketchy as the details are it appears the idea behind this plan is to get rid of the tons of mail that each government department sends out each year.

The plan seems to be to communicate predominantly via email for the correspondence that need to be kept private. At the core of it is a cost saving imperative; this type of benefit is obvious to most businesses.

Meanwhile, the current government continues to push the benefits of the NBN and for many businesses, particularly those in regional, rural or remote area connectivity is the must have component to competing in a local, national and international marketplace.

It seems that even the politicos are struggling to get a handle on the big digital picture and unfortunately their decisions within this space affect the ability of many businesses to remain competitive in a global digital economy.

Consumers are now empowered with the ability to research, compare and purchase online. For a business to succeed in this space they need to be masters of e-commerce, social media, search marketing, email marketing and a whole lot more.

While our politicians are looking to cut down snail mail and arguing about how to bring our internet speeds into the 21st century, there are broader considerations around productivity, competitiveness and economic viability effecting Australian businesses right now.

Resourcing businesses with the skills to master the digital environment, developing real-life connections for global B2B opportunities and building regional areas through the creation of jobs by removing barriers to connectedness is the space where politicians should be working.

As a country we are relatively isolated and this is sometimes reflected in our ability to innovate and keep up with the rest of the world. Without a fully informed Government, Australian business owners run the risk of literally being left behind.

If it seems like we’re lagging behind it’s because we are. And I’m not talking about in a suburb or a state, I’m talking about the world.

Author – Jay Dillon

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