Cisco invests AU$61m to help Australian digital transformation

The networking giant is bringing its Country Digital Acceleration program to Australia.

Cisco will be spending AU$61 million over the next three years to ramp up Australia's digital transformation efforts, which will include partnerships with public and private sector organisations and a focus on skills development.

The money will be allocated under the company's Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, which Cisco said is a long-term partnership with "national leadership, industry, academia".

Specifically, the CDA program in Australia will work with government, industry, and community organisations to develop and fund projects across digital government, digital industry, digital small-to-medium sized businesses, and national infrastructure initiatives.

Cisco expects this will help create jobs and support the skills of the emerging workforce, as well as enhance Australia's global economic competitiveness.

"Technology has played a key role in boosting socio-economic growth across the world, however, more needs to be done in Australia to keep at the pace of other leading innovative nations," Cisco Australia and New Zealand vice president Ken Boal said.

"If we don't invest equally, Australia will run the risk of losing its position near the top of international league tables. Cisco is ready and willing to help Australia keep its place at that top table."

Digital government will comprise programs for children from kindergarten through to year 12, as well as those in higher education, healthcare, infrastructure, and a handful of government department and agencies.

Digital industry will see Cisco develop cross-sector programs for Australian companies in industries such as mining and agriculture to develop digital capabilities.

The digital small-to-medium business (SMB) programs includes investment into startups, entrepreneurs, and venture funds, with Cisco saying this would drive the continuous creation of new small to medium-sized businesses, as well as giving the smaller end of tech town access to new and emerging technologies and services.

While the national infrastructure initiative is expected to help organisations maximise the potential of new technologies available as a result of the National Broadband Network, 5G, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

"By partnering with government, academia and industry to co-innovate in the areas aligned to Australia's strengths, we have the capability to accelerate change through these investments, leading to an increase in productivity, growth, and sustainable long term development, that ultimately improves the digital readiness of Australia," Boal added.


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