The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) has released a tender seeking consultants to help analyse the Australian software industry, with particular emphasis on the vertical applications market and its growth potential for Australian information and communications technology (ICT) companies.
A previous study by analysts McKinseys -- undertaken as part of the government's "Framework for the Future (F3)" -- had concluded that "the development of specialised software applications and the provision of specialist skills and services to multinational companies represented the greatest opportunities for Australian firms to participate in the global ICT industry."
The new study will focus on applications for vertical markets, which McKinsey identified as offering "the best opportunity for globally-oriented specialist firms in Australia".
Vertical applications are typically focused on a specific industry and are closely associated with the work done in that industry. The McKinsey study singled out the resource, transport, healthcare, retail and energy sectors as "having potential for vertical application developers in Australia".
With the proposed consultancy, DCITA wants to investigate the Australian software industry and the potential for Australian firms to succeed in vertical applications markets.
DCITA also seeks to develop "a map of the Australian software industry, including the concentration of software firms and capabilities, significant strengths and weaknesses and relationships between companies, key customers and the innovation base."
DCITA also wants an assessment of selected key applications markets and the scope of these markets "as a basis for sustainable growth for the Australian software industry".
The consultancy is expected to identify the markets the Australian software industry is involved with, the broad levels of activity and key competencies.
"The objective is to provide a clear picture of the relationships between the major players or groups of firms and other organisations and drivers in the value chain, including significant suppliers; customers; multinational corporations and the research training sector".
The chosen consultant will start work upon execution of the contract with DCITA and conclude the project by June 10, 2005.