Interview: Chris Peck, SAP Australia
Will things go back to a ‘new normal’ in 2022?
We have seen a fundamental rethink of how to attract and retain talent over the past 18 months, as COVID-19 accelerated the public sector’s understanding of its people and their skills. At SAP, we believe next year will be critical for our customers in terms of providing their employees with the right development and learning tools to provide career-building blocks inclusive of learning and development pathways. Linking these to job profile frameworks provides transparency across the workforce and, most importantly, career progression empowerment to every individual. This active support of employees through their professional growth will become the ‘new’ normal in 2022.
Which new technologies will reach critical mass and become dominant in 2022?
E-invoicing is not a new technology, but it has the potential to deliver large productivity benefits to the Australian economy in 2022, with the Australian Government investing $15.3 million to increase awareness and adoption. We commissioned a recent study on “The Connected SMB” which found that switching to e-invoicing could deliver Australian SMBs savings of up to $40,320. Payment times and security are also improved.
How has COVID-19 impacted Australian SMBs and how can the public sector offer support?
Running a small or medium-sized business (SMB) has never been more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact, with many business owners and managers accelerating digital strategies in response to the crisis. Companies are looking to external sources for help in their transition to digitisation, with about one in three taking advice from consultants and a similar number asking IT companies or governments for guidance. Public sector organisations need to remain open to questions from SMBs wondering where or how to start when it comes to digitising their business, particularly to ones already providing services to governments.
What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2022?
Cybersecurity and scaling it across the whole economy will continue to be the major pain point, and not just for large government agencies and corporates. Delivering this is only possible by moving solutions into the cloud and SaaS solutions which allow service providers to support cybersecurity for their customers. It is important to note that cybersecurity should not be solely seen as a technical problem to solve — there are no silver bullets. In addition to technical solutions it also requires training and education across an organisation on best-practice cybersecurity hygiene and management of the issue within risk committees.
What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators and the wider industry in 2022?
Accelerate the adoption of digital technologies, like artificial intelligence, and the transition of government and business services to the cloud. Cloud offers lower cost of ownership, more convenient access, improved cybersecurity, scalable compute and automation. This allows organisations to become more proactive, foresighted and data-driven, with greater focus on citizens and customers.
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