Being a keen user of Information Communications Technology (aka ICT or IT) and working within a subset of this very broad industry I am always very interested in seeing how technology can be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of businesses – and government is no exception.
I read last week that a report had been released last year identifying the most innovative cities in the world – the report “2thinknow Innovation Cities™ Global 256 Index” has identified those cities throughout the world that have been identified as being places of considerable innovation – out of the 256 cities studies the highest Australian result was Melbourne at 20 and Sydney close behind at 22 (nothing like a bit more fuel for those two cities rivalry!). Of course being from the west I wanted to find out how we performed – however the ranking only goes down to the 75th place and alas Perth did not manage to even get there…With the likes of Queensland with their Smarter State initiative, Victoria with their investment in Science and Technology, and now Tasmania laying claims to becoming the new ‘Silicon Valley‘, sometimes I feel that WA is being left behind by a government that does not completely understand that the technology and the knowledge workers that are helping the ‘quarry of the west’ operate successfully rely on ICT capabilities and the ICT industry – including education, training, services, technology, and hardware.
I’m not asking the government to give big handouts to the ICT industry – but more so to recognise the important part that ICT plays in the current economy here in WA – now, and what we could do through leveraging off the skill sets we have here in WA to diversify our economy to include the Knowledge Economy… maybe we just need to find all of the parliamentarians with iPhones and talk to them (if there are any).
So how do we get the Knowledge Economy on the radar within government? You can be sure that if you email goes down that all of a sudden you understand the importance of the knowledge workers in ensuring key business systems are working. However it must be a difficult industry to work in when the best feedback that you can get sometimes is none (i.e. noone is complaining!).
Anyone got any ideas on how to get Perth onto the innovation list?