Tag Archives: digital economy

Have your say in Victoria’s digital economy strategy

The Victorian Government is seeking your input into the development of a strategy to support Victoria’s digital economy. Many of the ideas in our Hume Region Digital Strategy are applicable statewide and we expect many will be represented in the Victorian strategy.

This initiative has been described and explained on www.digital-economy.vic.gov.au as follows:

“The Victorian Government is establishing a conversation with Victorian’s to inform and engage the government’s Digital Economy Strategy. This engagement program will inform the strategy and influence the strategy actions to build the digital capability of Victorian businesses.

The Digital Economy Strategy aims to position Victoria as a strong and innovative digital economy that can capture the substantial benefits and opportunities generated by digital technologies.”

We have discussed and written about many aspects of the digital economy on this blog and we encourage those of you who have contributed to and followed the digitalhume.com.au blog to submit ideas. This will ensure the views of businesses and the community in the Hume Region is well-represented.

You can submit your ideas and exchange views with others through the online portal. You will need to sign up to join the conversation, a process that takes about 60 seconds.

The strategy will be broken into seven key themes. You can have your say on each theme. The themes are outlined below:

Digital Inclusion

“Digital inclusion refers to the extent to which all people and groups are able to use and benefit from ICT. It includes not only access to the internet, but also the availability of hardware and software, content and services, and training in digital literacy skills.”

This is a great chance for you to provide feedback on what you feel are barriers to entry for digital, whether it be in a personal or business capacity. As more services and social interactions move online, it’s important that everyone is kept involved and engaged to prevent large knowledge gaps.

Have your say on digital inclusion

Productive and Competitive SMEs

Research has shown that digital engagement is a key factor to success for SMEs and large business alike. Businesses who lack access to digital resources may find themselves falling behind in a digital economy.

Have your input about how digital has been affecting your business, what information and resources you need to keep up or voice your concerns.

Have your say on Productive and Competitive SMEs

Digital Infrastructure

“The Victorian Government is continuing to consider ways to support Victorians to access the telecommunications infrastructure and services they need. We want your views on issues that are affecting you and on some of the suggestions we’ve received about how to improve access to digital communications.”

Have your say on Digital Inclusion

Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Digital technologies provide a huge opportunity for Victorian businesses to change their business models, access wider customer markets and improve their offerings. What do you need as a business to improve through digital innovation? How can the Victorian Government encourage digital innovation and entrepreneurship?

Have your say on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A Skilled Workforce

The digital economy means that businesses must acquire new skills and expertise. Whether you are building skills internally, hiring new staff or outsourcing tasks, it is important that businesses have access to the knowledge they need. Have you had trouble finding the right expertise, need advice on where to look or what you need?

Have your say on a Skilled Workforce

Telecommuting

Digital technologies provide a great opportunity for businesses to reap the benefits of telecommuting or ‘teleworking’. Telecommuting is the ability of employees to work and communicate remotely from their work location, for example at home or on the move.

Many businesses are already utilising this opportunity to ensure they have a more flexible workforce and better retention of skills. For individuals living in a region like Hume telecommuting also provides great opportunities to work remotely for larger businesses based in the major cities.. Tell Business Victoria how you’re making the most of teleworking or what’s stopping you from getting started.

Have your say on Telecommuting

Leadership in Government

“Achieving these goals is a challenging task. In the coming decades, Victoria’s rapidly growing and ageing population means that our public sector will have to deliver more services to more people from a relatively smaller revenue base. We will have to be much smarter and more innovative about how we design and deliver these services. The substantial cost reductions and flexibility offered by cloud computing may provide the key to developing new, cost-effective delivery models that enable us to keep up with demand while matching customer expectations and safeguarding privacy.”

Provide feedback on how government can provide services to best meet your needs. Do you want to be involvement in improvements and initiatives? Tell them about your experiences.

Have your say on Leadership in Government

You can also follow and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #DigitalEconomyVic

Tutorial 1: Getting Started Online

Getting Started

Getting started online doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive. The first step to getting online is to set up a basic web presence. Many small businesses think getting online is expensive and difficult. In today’s environment this simply isn’t true. In fact it is relatively easy.

There are many free (or reasonably priced) and easy to use website tools online. These tools allow you to build a simple web presence for your business. You just need to know where to look!

Every business should at minimum have a simple website. This will allow you to be found online and to promote your business to customers and prospects.

You cannot afford to wait any longer to get online. No matter what industry you are in, the chances are your competitors are already using the web to attract your customers.

Free online web building tools:

Below is a list of some of the best known website tools.

  • WordPress: One of the most commonly used tools, WordPress has a large support community, a wide range of templates to choose from and a user-friendly interface. Users can get started for free, and it is an open source tool meaning the code is free. This is important if you decide to build a more comprehensive site in the future.
  • Shopify: A useful tool for those businesses who wish to facilitate eCommerce (the ability to process online shopping).
  • Squarespace: A low cost, easy to use website builder, it leads the field in the proprietary web tools space.
  • Tumblr: Where websites and social media merge. Tumblr can be a particularly useful tool for those businesses who pride themselves on aesthetics and imagery and would like their content to be easily shared.
  • Wix: Another free website builder with a range of templates and user support.
  • Weebly: Free website builder with no need to sign up if you already have a Facebook account.

Our choice:

We generally recommend WordPress for a number of reasons.

  • There is a huge range of free and paid templates to choose from
  • Getting started is quick and easy
  • The interface is user-friendly, and
  • Because it is Open Source, there are a large number of users providing a comprehensive support network online when you get stuck.

That said, each business should investigate its options and choose the solution that is most suited to its own needs. There is no right or wrong answer and any of the tools mentioned above will get you online quickly and easily.

Getting started in under 20 minutes:

We’ve recorded a 20 minute webinar stepping you through the process of setting up a free basic website with WordPress. This is just a basic framework, and those who want a more comprehensive website can spend much more time expanding and perfecting their presence according to their needs.

Set aside 20 minutes to watch the recording after which you will have the knowledge to get your business online.

Shaping success for your enterprise

The fourth strategic focus area of the Hume digital strategy is about encouraging digitally enabled business in the Hume region. New research conducted by IBM and the NIEIR (National Institute of Economic and Industry Research) has presented evidence of superior financial performance for digitally advanced enterprises.

The key message is that enterprises cannot afford to stand still as digital technologies continue to redefine the business and government landscape. Several factors, including faster broadband and more sophisticated e-commerce systems, are exposing Australian organisations to unprecedented competition both domestically and abroad.

Organisations who recognise the need for change can build a transformation agenda as set out by the IBM report in five steps below.

1. Establish your position quickly. Establish whether you are a leader or a follower within your market. A good way to look at this is to focus on metrics that indicate your ability to compete in the digital age. e.g. percentage of services or sales delivered online.

2. Clarify timing. How important is it to be a leader in your sector? How quickly are digital technologies impacting your industry and how fast is your organisation’s capacity to change? These are questions you need to consider when timing your digital transformation.

3. Identify levers for action. Review which ‘levers’ are available to your organisation to drive change. They may be how you deal with your customers, how you reinvent your work practices and incentives, how you manage your cost base, how you use technology and assets or how you engage with your stakeholders.

4. Set priorities. While all your levers of change are important, you will need to decide where to focus your efforts and in what time frames. Keep in mind the plans of your competitors and how each set of actions tie back to your transformation objectives. Be sure to track progress once your priorities have been decided.

5. Develop a transformation narrative. Create a ‘story’ that clearly expresses your current position, the need for change and your plan for the future. Undertake the narrative on both a high level and a detailed business level. Describe how time will be managed and set targets.

While the IBM research is targeted at generally larger enterprises, all local businesses can start by completing the online digital readiness diagnostic. The 25 question tool will help you understand where you currently stand and where you need to go.

The full report in detail and other resources are available from IBM for download.

How to get everyone in the Hume Region online by 2017

The second strategic focus of the Hume Digital Strategy is to get everyone online by 2017. The economic gain from enabling an extra 10 per cent of the population to get online has been estimated by the Federal Government as resulting in a minimum increase of over 0.5 per cent in the areas output or wealth.

Obviously ensuring access for the community is the first step in getting people online which is the first strategic focus of the report. Once the platform is in place we still need to ensure we get region-wide participation and that we develop the skills needed to participate effectively in order to ensure digital readiness. (see Figure below. source: Hume Digital Strategy)

Digital readiness requires access, participation and skills

Digital readiness

The region as a whole must commit to a “broad campaign and program of projects to raise enthusiasm, skills and digital inclusion”. The specific actions outlined in the strategy are:

  • To set a bold target for all online by 2017. The aim is to drive and motivate partners and the community towards the goal of a networked region
  • To develop a tool to assess broadband readiness and the use of digital media
  • To ensure partners make digital inclusion a priority and are digital champions for their area, client or community group
  • Ensuring best practice is shared and activities coordinated
  • Focusing on groups at risk of digital exclusion such as over 60s, the indigenous community, people with a disability, recent migrants and refugees
  • Focusing on businesses that historically have low take up, such as those in agriculture and hospitality sectors, and small business enterprises
  • Focusing on re-skilling and/or up-skilling those in work or seeking to enter the workforce
  • Exploiting libraries and other relevant public infrastructure to act as key digital hubs for access and skills
  • Driving up community acquisition and use of digital skills and demand for broadband through increased digitisation of services and engagement with residents via online platforms and social media, and
  • Ensuring public spaces have WI-FI connectivity/availability

The full Digital Strategy documents can be downloaded here.

Are you involved in getting people online in the region? We’d love to hear your story via our comments and Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Hume Region Digital Strategy

RDA Hume recently released the Digital Strategy for the Hume Region. Over the coming weeks we will be blogging about the five key strategy focus areas which are:

  1. Maximising the impact of the NBN
  2. Striving to get “all online by 2017″
  3. Working towards transforming public services and community engagement
  4. Encouraging digitally enabled business
  5. Marketing Digital Hume

Please join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter.

In the meantime the strategy can be downloaded on our Digital Strategy page.

13th June Webinar Recording

Thank you to everyone who attended the Digital AgricultureHow high speed broadband and digital technologies will help you increase profitability and productivity webinar yesterday evening.

Here is a recording of the webinar for those who want to recap on some of the topics discussed or for those who missed it.

Please leave your comments and feedback below. If you liked the webinar please share the recording by clicking on one of the social media icons below.

 

Learn How Digital Technologies Will Help Your Agribusiness

The National Broadband Network (NBN) will deliver High Speed Broadband speeds to everyone in Australia. By 2015 farmers in the remotest parts of Australia can expect to start receiving high speed broadband services that will change the way they work and live.

To help business owners understand the benefits of the technology Digital Agriculture are running a webinar on the 13th of June.

Visit the webinars event page to learn more about registering for the event and who should attend.

Prepare Your Business For The Opportunities With The NBN

Fergal Coleman – Director of Symphony3 recently presented on the how businesses can prepare for opportunities presented by the NBN.

Below are the slides of the presentation. Some great information there on using the NBN, how your business needs to change and what are the benefits.

After you view the slides let us know via twitter how you have OR plan to prepare your business for the digital economy.

[slideshare id=22101633&doc=digitalbusiness-broadband-20may20130519-130528224135-phpapp02]

Run through some of our diagnostics to prepare your business for the NBN.

Our Neighbourhood – Australia Post Neighbourhood Community Grants

(Source: Our Neighbourhood, 2013)

(Source: Our Neighbourhood Website, 2013)

Australia Post via their Community Grants Program have opened a funding round for organisations. The program aims at building healthier, more vibrant and inclusive communities which have strong capabilities to leave a positive legacy around Australia. The program aims to develop this level of capability at a local and national level.

Key Dates

Monday, 13 May 2013 – Applications Open

Friday, 28 June 2013 – Applications Close

Continue reading

Visit The Digital Rural Futures 2013 Conference

With 12 keynote speakers and 58 breakout and poster presentations the conference offers the chance to interact with some of Australia’s mostDigital Futures Region innovative business leaders, academics and regional development organisations, as well as farmers and farmer peak bodies, to set the scene and increase general awareness of delegates across a range of challenges and opportunities. See Professor David Lamb from UNE talking about the Conference running in Armidale 26-28 June 2013.

Click here to learn more about the conference.