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How artificial intelligence and digitisation is transforming Australia

Australia is being transformed by artificial intelligence and digitisation, particularly in areas such as education and public safety

With December nearly here, I have started to reflect on some of the research that our Frost & Sullivan team in Australia and New Zealand has published this year. 

One particular study that garnered a lot of interest was artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on jobs. We looked at the technologies that are aiding the growth of AI, while investigating the impact of AI on Australia’s economy and labour market.   

In 2016, the AI market was worth approximately A$333m in Australia, with the financial services sector being the highest contributor (52%) to AI revenue. By 2025, we expect this to grow to nearly A$2bn. 

Although AI presents companies with significant cost reductions and operational benefits, realising these benefits without organisational and management support is difficult.

Organisations need a champion to promote, advocate and execute AI strategies, while the executive team has to provide resources in the form of capital (for deploying AI technologies), people (high-skilled labour), and time (for learning).


Digital transformation of the education sector was another area that our analysts focused on in 2017. Our research showed that the total Australian education technology market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% from 2016 to 2022, and reach more than A$1.73bn.

Increasing student demand, competition among institutions, and lower acquisition costs are some of the factors spurring growth of the education sector. Our key findings include:

  • Digitisation of the learning experience is a key trend set to transform the tertiary sector. Through a demand-pull model, student demand for digital innovations and seamless technology products will be fulfilled, enabling more effective collaboration and engagement.
  • Complexity in implementation, training and cost are critical considerations among university staff and administrators. Acquisition costs must be well justified for student benefit, while training of staff will be a compelling differentiator between technology suppliers.
  • Increasing demand for tertiary education from both domestic and international students will continue to drive technology innovations, enabling efficiencies.

Critical communications

We also took an in-depth look at how technology is disrupting critical communications in public safety in Australia.

The critical communications technology covered in our analysis refers to mission-critical communications between different public safety agents, such as first responders.

Mission-critical situations are characterised as high-risk and unforeseeable occasions. It’s a modestly growing market, set to increase from A$296m in 2017 to A$373m by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.7%. Other findings were:

  • Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) leveraging LTE technology is expected to grow from 2020 as mission-critical communication standards become commercially available for use by first responders.
  • Frost and Sullivan expects investments to move towards 4G LTE voice and data services over the forecast period, with the lifespan of existing professional mobile radio (PMR) networks likely to stretch until at least 2028. Land mobile radio and LTE devices are expected to be used simultaneously until 2028.
  • The public safety segment (law enforcement, ambulance, fire and other emergency services) is anticipated to adopt digital systems that run on hybrid voice and data networks over the transition period. Simulation tools to support training exercises, identify responders’ locations in real time, remote monitoring of first responders’ tactical actions, and integration of communication systems into personal protective equipment are key investment priorities for first responders.

Lastly, in July 2017, we published a study profiling some of Australia’s top technology disruptors.

We looked at 18 technologically innovative companies founded or headquartered in Australia. These companies are digital disruptors of their respective industries, changing traditional business models and finding new ways to deliver value to users.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics