Australia discovers Innovation. Can it become the Smart and Lucky Country?


IMG_3929When the tabloid Daily Telegraph front page is highlighting startups it is clear that Australia is finally awaking from a long-term lack of genuine progress, investment, tax structure and ecosystem for a scale technology and innovation startup industry and national mindset. The awakening has almost arrived too late, but big benefits to the competitiveness of the national economy will follow.

The announcement by the federal Government that Australia is now open for innovation could not come soon enough. It would not have happened prior to the new Prime Minister.

The change in federal government had an immediate and significant impact. Malcolm Turnbull is clearly a PM who understands technology, and the fact that he immediately set up Wyatt Roy as an Assistant Minister for Innovation was the trigger. Roy has already led missions to Boston and Israel, and has of course announced significant changes to tax incentives and legislation.

The investment in the startup ecosystem needs to be a three way tightly integrated system between the private sector, government (state and federal) and universities. Universities in Australia have also been waiting for the trigger to invest. Like the private and public sector it also needs to change. Vice Chancellors have been calling for a realignment of research towards innovation and invention. The purpose of research by a university becomes interesting, particularly for research based universities. Is there value in allocating investments to research in the “classics”, or should a university realign funding to practical research? As an established “smart” country Australia needs to balance both.

The future of classics is perhaps an underrated concern. Whilst only one data point, the following is compelling. Of 220 Year 9 boys at my son’s school, only 2 chose history as an elective, not surprisingly STEM was massively oversubscribed.

States like NSW and Victoria are much more aggressively investing in start up and innovation approaches. South Australia and Tasmania have struggled economically and urgently need to create an incentive for innovation. They have strong universities, and opportunities for considerable niches, but will need to overcome the need to take investment from larger and more financially capable states.

Finally Australia will need to change from a financial perspective. It needs to ensure that there are more gambles and less sure things being backed from a Venture Capital perspective.

Capture Point

In the middle of 2015, only a blind optimist would think that we would have a government that talked about innovation and actually knew what it meant. The recent announcements are but a small step in making Australia the Smarter and Lucky Country

If you require further information, please contact Phil Hassey, Founder capioIT. capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology as the world becomes Digital. Phil may be contacted easily in the digital and real world.



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From Oncology to Customer Service, Cognitive Computing will Change the Human Experience.

From Oncology to Customer Service, Cognitive Computing will Change the Human Experience.

Technology. It is a striking word. Every human knows closely the impact of technology, on themselves, people they care deeply about and our entire society. Personally in the past few months, my wife and I have seen first hand the benefit of technology in our personal and professional life.

Cancer. It is a brutal word. Humans know closely the impact of Cancer, on themselves, people they care deeply about, and our entire society. Personally, in the past few months, my wife and I have had two extended family members diagnosed with the dreaded word. It is unavoidable.

The good and bad of the human experience. How can we make the good drive out the bad? Can we use technology to long-term cure cancer, and at the very least drastically improving patient outcomes? That is what all the benefits of society can achieve through application of technology.

One of the most important, innovative and frankly radical investments in using technology to provide better societal outcomes is Cognitive Computing. Many organisations have invested in cognitive computing. IBM’s Watson business unit has been at the forefront of the drive to cognitive computing. One of the key activities since the launch of Watson has been to drive stronger outcomes from oncology investments. The goal is to ultimately find the cure for cancer, with improved patient outcomes being part of the long term investment.

This investment in Watson and Oncology not surprisingly started in the United States, specifically New York. What is interesting is that Asia is now front and centre. Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand is the first non-U.S. based hospital to invest in Watson. This was followed by the Manipal Hospital group in India. Both hospital groups want to ensure that they are at the forefront of radical innovation and improved customer outcomes.

Asia is Innovative. Anyone who knows Asia is not going to be surprised by this. The growth nature of the market is such that emerging and start-up enterprises and their customers want to be at the top of the tree for truly transformative investments. From consumer goods retailers, to transportation infrastructure, digital citizens and heavy manufacturing, Asia is at the forefront in the adoption of many consumer and enterprise technology advancements.

Cognitive Computing is no exception to this greenfield approach. Unstructured and structured data is omnipresent in Asia. The three billion people entering the middle class are adding to the streams of data. This data is being captured, analyzed and acted upon to ensure that services provided by government and enterprises are more closely matched to their requirements.

As part of research undertaken by capioIT, we interviewed many clients and partners of Watson in Asia. Whilst there was a range of industries, geography and company age in the discussions, one outcome was emphatically clear. Early adopters of Cognitive Computing want to win and win big in their Asian century. It cannot be more simply articulated than this.

These early adopters believe that their investment in cognitive computing will ensure their organization is a benchmark for leadership. They fervently understand that whilst they are taking a risk with new technology, that not taking a risk, or worse, seeing their competitor take the risk, is not an option that they can afford to take.

Not every firm will cure cancer, but the focus on providing improved outcomes for customers and stakeholders is enough motivation for Asian firms now, and in the future to invest in Cognitive Computing.


For a full copy of the report – please go to the following link – 


If you require further information, please contact Phil Hassey, Founder capioIT. capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology as the world becomes Digital. Phil may be contacted easily in the digital and real world.



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For the Good of Society – We all must take a pledge

Presentation2-page-001It is time for the world to take a new pledge in order to enable innovation and improved stakeholder outcomes from investment to accelerate.

As a public duty you need to get your family, friends and colleagues to undertake the following:

As of 1st January 2016, I pledge to:

  • Not post, attach, forward or otherwise distribute this slide as if it is an infallible document for time immemorial.
  • Furthermore I will delete from my social media accounts or any other communication tools anyone regardless of importance in my life who continues to distribute the slide, with particular venom for those who wait until late 2015, or worse, 2016 to discover it.
  • Comprehend that disrupters will get disrupted. Disruption does not stop. Just ask LP records, CD’s and iTunes all about that.
  • Understand that outsourcing and disrupting a process is not new. Nike does not make shoes, nor shirts. It is a lifestyle and aspirational marketing company. Hilton manages the overwhelming majority of the portfolio, not owns the properties, it is a hospitality marketing company. Jamie Oliver does not cook every meal in his 30 establishments, he is also a hospitality marketing company.
  • Digital investments are critical but disruption is not just about technology, but that process, culture, regulatory environments and consumer/user behavior all matter even more than the technology.
  • Finally, grasp that the more people I give my data to, the less control I have over it. I will not get my data privacy back if I hand it over.





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Will Digital Driver licenses make driving without a mobile an offence?

Given my job of watching, advising and progressing digital transformation, a technology savvy wife, and three digital native to the core children aged 10-13 it is no surprise that the impacts, both foreseen and unforeseen, of digital are a regular discussion point at the dinner table in our house, (a device free dinner table, I might add).


Tonight the discussion centered on the impact of the digitization of driver licenses, and other related identification forms. New South Wales, and Australia for that matter, has been way to slow at a commercial and government level for digital, but it is changing in an accelerated fashion due to increasingly strong leadership particularly from new Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


On Nov. 24th, 2015, after months of speculation and discussion the NSW government announced that digital licensing for fishing and responsible service of alcohol will commence in 2016, with driver licenses to follow in 2018.


Clearly the technology is so close, yet so far away from reality.


The deep and complicated levels of security, intergovernmental legislation and cooperation that will be required to ensure the program works in a secure fashion are still far from consideration, let alone being settled. Will all Australian states accept digital licensing? Will it be accepted as a valid form of identification overseas, for example when renting a car or checking into a hotel?


One of the great discussion points that arose today from the Sydney Morning Herald was the possibility that drivers could be fined for not having their mobile charged. – whilst Service NSW informed the SMH that drivers would not be charged for failure to produce a driver license with a flat mobile, it is clear that if the digital license is the default then a flat or lost phone will be a critical potential issue. Driving without a mobile could well be an offence in some jurisdictions let alone make any transaction virtually impossible as physical money dies a slow death.


It is also worth noting the issue of digital equity at this point. There can be no mandate to go digital to reflect that whilst the majority of Australian residents are able to enjoy premium personal technology, not everyone is. For government the digital solution cannot be the only solution.


Hopefully this type of transformational, but predictable outcome of digital integration can convince Apple in particular to improve the battery life of the iPhone by 2018.


Each day there is examples of the benefits of digital transformation for local and global communities. These are typically of significant benefit, but just as a flat mobile will challenge the ability to present identification to authorities, the downsides of digital need to be explored through trial deployments and clear thinking of the unknown outcomes as well as the known outcomes.


If you require further information, please contact Phil Hassey, Founder capioIT. capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology as the world becomes Digital. Phil may be contacted easily in the digital and real world.



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AWS announces Korea as its sixth Asian region. Boosts the accelerating cloud maturity of Asia

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced Korea as the sixth geographic region announced in Asia for the IaaS juggernaut. Korea joins established locations in Australia, China, Japan and Singapore as well as recent announcements of a forthcoming region in India, and a second Chinese region. Which new location will come online first is unknown at this point.
Clearly the focus of the investment in Korea is to take advantage of the local demand from an increasingly cloud hungry Korean market, but to also leverage the massive demand for gaming based applications that have long been a staple of the Korean technology sector.

More broadly than Korea, the fact is now that AWS has more announced locations in Asia than any other location. This fact is an exceptional one for the region and reflects several factors.

  • Demand for cloud across models, eg IaaS, SaaS, PaaS et al is real and growing in Asian markets.
  • This demand varies by the type of organisations and geography. In mature markets, the growth for cloud is across legacy firms, and startups.
  • Public sector in mature Asia markets such as Australia, Singapore and Japan is increasingly implementing cloud based solutions. The spectre of privacy has largely been overcome by the performance of vendors such as AWS and Microsoft in the market.
  • In emerging or less mature Asia markets such as Indonesia, Thailand etc, the growth in cloud is particularly strong in the start up and greenfield organization markets. More traditional companies, and governments have been slower to uptake cloud. As the impact of the local startup sector starts to increase, it is anticipated that the organisations will follow the shift towards cloud made by so many of their peers.
  • Geographic location issues are receding. The increased investment in Asian cloud locations by the likes of AWS are removing geographic location as an issue for an increasingly significant proportion of the Asian economy. Regulatory authorities are slowly becoming more flexible and aware of the need to work with cloud providers to ensure that they can balance requirements with the functionality of the cloud.

Korea is a unique market, and will provide AWS with a number of new challenges. It is perhaps the most individual market in Asia. The role of the Korean Chaebols, such as Samsung have a fundamental impact on the market. Yes, it is a significant opportunity, but it is a very difficult market to crack because of the unique local characteristics.

Back to AWS, the next steps for it are going to be interesting to watch. By the end of next year it will have live capabilities in the six most important and largest cloud markets in the region. The AWS model is of course one that values depth of location rather than breadth, so the investment in Asia is even more remarkable, as it clearly will not have the depth in some Asian markets that it enjoys in the U.S based facilities.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand are examples of markets that now come into play for a region, not just an edge location. Most of these markets are far from ready for AWS to arrive from a regulatory (e.g Indonesia) or demand (New Zealand) perspective. They do offer long term options, and it would not surprise to see AWS look to offer smaller scaled facilities, (with clear compromises needed on cost, functionality and scope) for clients to ensure that it is able to offer local coverage to as broad a number of economic markets as possible.

Finally on AWS, the recent re:Invent customer event showed that the revenue growth has not abated, (80% CAGR is extraordinary), the functionality (over 500 new offerings in 2015) has not abated and with Hewlett Packard shuttering it’s public cloud offering, the AWS impact on the competition and clients is also not showing any respite.

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Will Salesforce, AWS and Oracle product expansion dent the glow of Tableau and friends?

Analytics provider Tableau has had a remarkable couple of years. Qlik, TIbco Spotfire and other peers have also experienced success as the growth and democratization of analytics increases. They have helped to bring Analytics into a larger, more user friendly environment, and to help shift the long awaited by capioIT shift to a more democtratised functionality of analytics, data discovery and visualization.

Perhaps then it was no surprise that at the Salesforce, AWS and Oracle customer events this year, Tableau and Qlik were singled out for attention with new product announcements and no doubt aggressively directly push into their space. At Dreamforce, re:Invent and Oracle Open World, new products were highlighted, democratization of analytics was a key theme and the importance of analytics realized.

The good news for the smaller visualisation vendors is that the larger vendors will not fully realize their own product capabilities at least through 2016. Tableau et al enjoy strong customer advocacy, comparative nimbleness, innovation agendas, and a partnership with the three larger vendors, but the pressure will be immense. Acquistion opportunities will also come under the radar more visually, especially for Qlik which is the most acquisitively accessible. Perhaps they can use their own tools to identify potential suitors.

Not surprisingly Tableau, Qlik and Tibco have continued to have a positive spin and outlook on the situation. One would expect nothing less. The good news from a capioIT perspective is a deeply held view that competition drives innovation. This can only benefit customers of all providers of analytics, data discovery and visualization.

If you require further information, please contact Phil Hassey, Founder capioIT. capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology as the world becomes Digital. Phil may be contacted by the following methods,



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Westfield may have a “Smarter Way to Park”, but the risk to individual privacy and security is not smart.

Losing a ticket in a shopping centre parking lot can be a frustrating and very costly experience. Similarly the ability to exit and have automatic payment is a benefit to the time poor and impatient shopper. Therefore the rollout by major retail property managers such as Westfield of ticketless parking is considered a blessing by many.

That is the good news. The potential downside of the capability is of immediate and considerable concern with a significant risk to Westfield and Scentre, let alone  customers. Whilst ticketless parking has been around for a few years, the next step of SMS parking time notification from Westfield Bondi Junction amongst other centres is a concern.

One can register their car, and be sent a text when they arrive to inform them as to the time that the vehicle has arrived, and as a consequence, how much time they will have to park in the centre. So far so good.

The issue is this registration process. Anyone, yes, anyone can register a car license plate to then receive an SMS as to when that vehicle enters the parking station. It is naïve to think that only honest car owners will use this technology. To test that anyone can register a car I have registered my own family cars alongside random cars.

There is no checkpoint to confirm that I am entitled to be connected with the cars. The legal fine print – does nothing to address this issue.

There is nothing to stop a stalker, disgruntled former partner, or any one of a number of nefarious characters from knowing when a vehicle, and by definition, individual has entered a parking station. This can open up the opportunity for considerable individual risk for parkers for example in troubled domestic environments, stalkers to know with more geographic certainty where their prey is and many other negative potential outcomes.

At the same time, the fact that anyone can be informed as to when a car enters a shopping centre knows that an individual is not at their home. If for example, a potential criminal obtains the car registration details of a house they are looking to burgle, knowing when the occupants car has entered the shopping centre car park gives them strong insight into how long they may have to commit any offence.

The other issue is the internal process at Westfield. Where was the red flag that there could be a potential problem. Surely someone in a management role had to be aware of the risk, no matter how small.

The growth and ubiquitous impact of technology and digital innovation is an unstoppable force, and the consequences for society are overwhelmingly positive.

Unfortunately it is a very complicated issue, and the example of Westfield Parking highlights the impacts of unintended consequences. In order to fix this, it is anticipated that Westfield will have to change the registration process to ensure that only rightful owners can register their vehicles and that potentially criminal and disruptive elements are unable to. This is a method of ensuring the full benefits of digital technology and management of unintended consequences.

Furthermore, digital innovation is valuable, but difficult to get right. Skills within the organisation need to change. Pan-industry experience is critical. Good digital implementation needs a team that is able to consider an increasingly broad range of implications, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. 

If you require further information, please contact Phil Hassey, Founder capioIT. capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology as the world becomes Digital. Phil may be contacted by the following methods,




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