Our most favourite and divisive device

Half of the Australia mobile consumer population engage with their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up. This sets the tone for the day and the way in which our most favourite device has become an extension of us, embedded into our daily routines, experiences and interactions.[1]

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Smartphones have moved front and centre, across many of our relationships for better and in some cases, for worse.

There is no doubt retail is in an era of transformation. Driven by the acceleration and adoption of technology and the changing behaviours of shoppers, retail must adapt to thrive in the future.

Today’s connected customer has greater expectations than ever before. With information at their fingertips, they are knowledgeable, in control and can choose to purchase anywhere at any time. Faced with a proliferation of options coupled with the ubiquitous use of mobile, we are seeing a trend towards more frequent, yet shorter interactions. This limited attention has set a challenge for retailers in evolving the way they think about engaging customers and driving loyalty to their brand.

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Gone are the days of the retail store being somewhere simply to purchase.

Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability, each having unique circumstances and aspirations for their future. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide them with ‘choice and control’ in the supports that they receive with an emphasis on self-direction in planning and access to services.

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Annual NDIS expenditure of $22 billion means the market for disability services will more than double over the next 4 years.

5 ways Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can make life easier for Boards and organisations

In 2014, a Japanese investment firm announced they had appointed a robot to their Board. Deep Impact Ventures made headlines around the world when they promoted an algorithm, called Vital, causing some pithy journalists to ask if some companies’ Board meetings would be improved by sitting next to an algorithm!

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When implemented successfully, RPA can help to deliver on what many Boards are seeking to implement in their organisations; efficiency, innovation, talent, improved risk and control frameworks, and better customer service.

Life’s interactions experienced through a 5 inch screen

With 84 per cent of Australians owning a smartphone in 2016 (compared with 79 per cent in 2015), connecting through a 5 inch screen has become a ubiquitous way of life – with our chosen device there to guide, inform and distract us throughout the day, and for some even during the night. 18-24 year old mobile consumers are leading our national push toward ‘peak smartphone’, with 94 per cent of this trendsetting demographic having access to at least one smartphone. This year Norway (91 per cent) and South Korea (89 per cent) have taken top spot on the global leader board, with the global average penetration rate being 81 per cent.*

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Australia 2G networks to be decommissioned this December. 1 in 5 smartphone users will be impacted.

Few would question if the Australian government should undertake digital transformation strategies.  They do, however, inevitably introduce new risks. Digitally enabling traditional processes and systems exposes government and the privileged citizen data they contain to attack by hackers, undermining trust in the government’s ability to deliver on digital.

The Australian Government has recognised the need for cyber security, recently announcing their Cyber Security Strategy to promote an improved institutional cyber culture and raise cyber awareness amongst government and businesses to help ensure all Australians remain secure online. Our government needs to be confident that they have the right solutions in place for their current cyber risk, so they can continue to invest in technologies that are going to accelerate their growth.

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Digital transformation inevitably exposes government and citizen data to attack, raising questions about security

There are big changes afoot around the direction of tax policy in the next few years. A new G20/OECD joint agenda is moving its focus on from modernising and coordinating international tax rules to a new tax program focused on inclusive, economic growth.

The President-elect in the US appears ready to influence the US to a more protectionist economy. Both of these factors are likely to influence the Australian Government and its Treasury advisors over the medium term.

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Tax mismatches and arbitrages will no longer be the basis for competitive advantage.

Open up any newspaper these days and the commentary around the property market reads: “housing bubble”, “apartment oversupply” and “housing market collapse”. You may well think that one of the biggest sources of wealth in this country is about to come tumbling down like the proverbial house of cards. Sensationalist or an accurate prediction?

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Western Sydney is well-positioned and the outlook for residential developers is promising.

With the forthcoming development of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, Sydney will soon be joining the ranks of other thriving global cities who have adopted a successful multiple airport strategy. Or will we?

It’s not just the development of the airport as a singular piece of infrastructure that will catapult Sydney into this successful global city grouping. The airport does have the potential to be a significant economic enabler, but now the airport is going ahead we need to focus on the bigger picture in terms of what supporting infrastructure, transport, amenities and governance are needed to make it a success – and a coordinated approach to delivering them. The global cities that have been successful in leveraging multiple airports for broad-based economic development – and indeed there are some that have not – have much more in common than just an airport.

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With the development of Badgerys Creek airport, Sydney will soon be joining the ranks of other thriving global cities.