Will local businesses WIN THE WEST?

PARRAMATTA Square and the cultural infrastructure currently underway will deliver a Smart City and core CBD to greater Sydney. Expansions at Westmead will create a world class health precinct, as well as opportunities for nearby hospitals to expand their services to an ageing population.

Rail, light rail and road infrastructure, intermodal facilities at Moorebank, expansion of the higher education sector and new high school campuses, all point to new developments that will accommodate the rapid growth of Western Sydney’s population in future decades.

The Federal government’s decision to directly invest in the development of Western Sydney’s airport at Badgery’s Creek is a milestone.

By providing a gateway for lightweight freight, domestic and international travellers, Western Sydney will not only have better access but more competitiveness on the world stage.

Innovative businesses, local councils and not-for-profit service providers will all benefit from this growth.

The current job and entrepreneurial opportunities in Parramatta and the growth corridors in Western Sydney are distinctively different from the region’s blue-collar heritage.

Knowledge-based employment and business opportunities will require digitally savvy, customer-centric and flexible workers who are able to constantly learn and adapt.

Western Sydney’s new-found accessibility will create export opportunities but this will also open us to increased global competition.

Automation of routine physical and clerical tasks will take away many of the jobs employing people today.

New digital and easy-to-use technologies can lead to more knowledge based jobs for those businesses investing in human capital and innovation to improve their agility and profitability.

Automation of low-value added activities will become the norm with intuition and customer-centric thinking keys to enabling sustainable growth.

Success isn’t a given though, and local businesses will need to work hard to reap the benefits. KPMG Enterprise’s R&D and incentives Partner, Paul van Bergen, who is based in Parramatta, advises businesses on the best way to maximise opportunities.

“Think about what customers will demand in the future,” he says. “The winners in the West will be companies which strategically invest in developing products and services that customers want and need, creating alliances to leverage skills to provide world class solutions from local suppliers.

“Some of this investment will be in the form of R&D, some in trialling innovative business models. For many, this might involve encouraging entrepreneurial behaviours to create, accelerate and commercialise new business models.

“Increased funding from NSW and Federal governments is available for collaborative R&D and developing digital technologies for established businesses.

 “Through the Western Sydney University LaunchPad accelerator, companies can access expertise and leading-edge technologies subsidised by the NSW government technology vouchers.

“For example, the School of Engineering Computers and Mathematics has assisted traditional manufacturing companies in developing solutions that apply the Internet of Things to create new service lines.

“This enables closer relationships with technologically demanding customers. Partially funded by R&D tax offsets, this reduces the after-tax cost of transforming a business to become a global player.”

Cloud technology has changed the way we work, how health and social services are delivered and how businesses provide goods and services in the future.

For businesses looking to capitalise on Western Sydney’s growth, this means that the need to invest in and embrace cloud technology is no longer a choice. It’s an imperative.

It’s important to keep tabs on the cost effectiveness of all business activities. Understanding what cloud technology can contribute to improve profit margins, better decision making and ensuring businesses deliver a unique and consistent customer experience.

Gordon Irons, KPMG Enterprise’s Partner – Technology Advisory, says: “Cloud-based solutions make it possible to get more value out of existing data and IT services.  The mid-market can now access user-friendly business systems at a fraction of the cost of the amounts historically paid by their larger competitors.

“This increased flexibility will enable Western Sydney businesses to become more nimble, responsive and entrepreneurial.

“The ability to harness accurate, meaningful and real-time information from systems that can be accessed via a mobile device or any internet connection will help all these Western Sydney businesses to become more competitive, agile and profitable.”

by David Pring, Partner-in-Charge at KPMG Enterprise Parramatta.

First published in Western Sydney Business ACCESS.

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