In parallel to services delivered offshore, capioIT has identified growth in the realisation that domestic delivery in Australia can provide tangible opportunities in service delivery whilst managing cost issues. Services in these centre are highly skilled and a platform for skills growth. They are not to “replace India” but to supplement skills in metropolitan locations and offshore.
As a result extensive research was undertaken to identify the premium locations to deliver IT and business services in Australia. Key points include the following:
- Of the 35 potential locations chosen, in reality there are only 8 locations that currently have the potential to be established as IT and business process delivery centres in Australia.
- Ballarat is clearly number the one location for the establishment of IT and business process delivery centres in Australia.
- The strength of Ballarat is based upon historical investment and integration between state, local government and the university as well as from industry and the key anchor tenant.
The top 5 locations identified by capioIT were as follows.
- Ballarat is ranked number 1 for seven factors. In five of these it is ranked number 1 on its own.
- In terms of rankings for government support, and current and future investments it is considerably ahead of competing locations.
- The integration between industry, the University of Ballarat and local and state government sets a clear industry benchmark.
- Ballarat works because the development of the centre had a champion from the University who ensured leadership and integration of all parties.
- These factors enable it to have a ranking of number 1. Whilst for most Australian employers and employees, Ballarat may not be the first choice from a lifestyle point of view; it clearly makes up for this with what has been established in the University of Ballarat Technology Park.
Public Policy Implications
Infrastructure to support regional investment in IT related services is largely in place. NBN will drive further capabilities.
The level of support for University and other higher education in technology needs to be significantly altered. This will only happen with integration between education, the government and industry itself. Technology industry bodies in Australia need to be more accountable and stop making excuses for a lack of activity.
Engagement between local and state government for regional development is significantly lagging. This must change nationally.
Local governments need to be empowered to attract more investment. Consolidation is an important first step.