Business accounting platform MYOB has revealed a new partnership with the government-backed Digital Skills Organization (DSO), which aims to bridge the “digital divide” by preventing small and medium-sized businesses from future-proofing their businesses and protect against cybersecurity threats.
The partnership, unveiled on Tuesday, will see MYOB and the DSO work on a new standard of “digital fluency” – a level at which a small business is expected to integrate forward-thinking technologies and processes, allowing them to keep pace with future change. the economy.
Once this standard is established, MYOB and DSO hope to organize an SME roundtable, discussing the training and industry strategies needed for companies to achieve this “digital literacy”.
Helen Lea, head of business experience at MYOB, said many Australian businesses still have a long way to go before they become digitally savvy.
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“Despite the rapid acceleration in digital adoption over the past 12 months, we estimate that half a million Australian SMEs still have little or no levels of digitalization,” she said in a statement.
“It’s a missed opportunity for these companies to improve their work processes for future growth and for the nation to benefit from a thriving SME community.”
The partnership comes in the middle of National Skills Week and just over a week before the historic Jobs and Skills Summit, where digitalization and tech skills are expected to take center stage.
The federal government’s latest list of priority skills, unveiled this week, shows that ICT business and systems analysts, as well as software and applications programmers, will be among the most in-demand occupations over the next five years.
The MYOB and DSO association also coincides with the release of a new interim report from the Productivity Commission, focusing on the digital skills needed to boost productivity.
The report suggests that large companies often face high upfront costs when upgrading their digital processes, but smaller companies suffer from a lack of qualified personnel.
“Other studies have also found that small and medium-sized businesses have less mature cybersecurity practices, due to issues such as ad hoc cyber budgets, poor incident response preparedness, and a lack of understanding of technical security terms. security,” the report said.
Beyond the need for small businesses to review their cybersecurity protocols, the Productivity Commission report also calls for increased access to data and continued government guidance on its use.
While strong datasets can serve as raw material for innovative solutions, “increased access to data must be balanced with incentives for the continued collection and maintenance of quality data, as well as privacy concerns. and data security,” according to the report.