28 May 2018

State of Play: Australian technology landscape

Ken Saurajen discusses the technology landscape and Australia's position as world leader in quantum computing.

To learn more about the key market trends and latest legal developments in Australia, visit our Australian Market: the state of play page.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.


It's a very exciting time to be watching the technology space in Australia because we're seeing not just new emerging technologies but we're starting to see them interact with existing commercial applications and industry. Some key features of that is block chain, obviously distributed ledger technologies, the internet of things which is basically connected devices, artificial intelligence and cognitive intelligence with the capacity to replace to some degree, human learning and human expression, and then mechanical robotics which obviously has implications for industry such as warehousing, logistics and transport.  Australia is a world leader in quantum computing and development.  So silicon based quantum technologies with the capacity to replace traditional binary computing and then of course we've seen a continuation of existing trends such as the move from on-premises IT solutions to cloud, platform as a service infrastructure and software as a service. Lastly we've seen a lot of data related projects reach a greater level of maturity than they have in the past 18 months and customers and suppliers, industry generally taking a much more sophisticated view to leveraging their existing data set.

Quantum computing is an area in which Australia is a world leader.  Essentially a quantum computer differs from a traditional binary computer which processes zero's and one's because it is based on quantum bits or qubits.  The technical explanation is interesting but beyond that it's the revolutionary change in processing power that can open the door to a whole range of applications.  So activity around commercial data projects has been particularly interesting.  I think in Australia we've seen a heightened level of sophistication around how industry thinks about data and the use of data.  Not just leveraging their own structured and unstructured data sets for their own purposes, but thinking of how that may be useful to other industry participants and of course the big news in the financial services sector has been the release of the open banking report which has well and truly kicked off the discussion about how customers of financial services institutions' data will be treated and made available to improve the lives of ordinary banking customers.  So it's these things that will combine to provide a very interesting next 3-5 years and potentially beyond in Australia as we watch some of these technologies develop and as we watch them find their way into the commercial world.