Building capability

Skills and capability can often be a huge barrier for small businesses that may not have the time or resources to offer training to staff, or can struggle securing the right talent in a competitive job market.

This means that business owners can often get overwhelmed by the amount of information and technology options available, and this can delay adopting digital technology even if it might deliver value and efficiency for their businesses.

Finding the right information that is easy to understand will enable them to pursue their digital journey.

Why the contribution is important

Business owners with high digital savviness are able to choose the right tools and get the most out of them.

  • How might we build the skills and knowledge of businesses to equip them to digitise and help them make better decisions?
  • What kind of information does a business owner need to know?

by DigitalEconomyTeam on November 08, 2017 at 03:45PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 3 votes


  • Posted by EDCV November 14, 2017 at 20:05

    As a small business I am restricted in developing my ideas and innovation as there is no product available on the market for data analysis and text mining for validation and RTO data use to provide management in RTO's with reports of trends to turn compliance outcomes into a business growth connection.
    I am also restricted in skills available within a small business structure, grants are very difficult to find that do not require 1 million dollar revenue or matching 50% of funds in .
    Business owners like myself need to have this software to improve the quality in RTO's, and to be able to have the skills in my staff pool would be great however the business still needs to know what these skills are.
  • Posted by breakthrough4business November 14, 2017 at 21:02

    How might we build the skills and knowledge of businesses to equip them to digitise and help them make better decisions?

    Engage with the private sector to ensure that the information you are providing to Businesses is current and relevant. Once you are aware of this information the best way to deliver this knowledge is online.

    We have so many wonderful Businesses in Australia that the Federal Government need to leverage off them because the reality is that you are too far disconnected from the reality of what it is that Businesses need.

    There are ways to connect Small Business owners from across Australia with Leading Experts who excel in their field. There is a great resource at that does this.

    What kind of information does a business owner need to know?

    They need to know;

    - what Digital Strategy they need for their Business.
    - what are the Online Tools that they can use to grow a profitable and scalable Business e.g. Ontraport, Slack, Trello, Zoom, Infusionsoft, Snagit, Skype etc.
    - they need to know how to use all of the above tools (plus more) to give them the confidence to integrate these tools into their Business. Once Business Owners have the confidence of using one of these productivity tools they will be more open to working with others.
    - they need to know how to measure their online activity so that they can measure their results.

  • Posted by Lynellej November 16, 2017 at 08:26

    I agree with the above comment but with a condition. A lot of businesses don’t want to learn online and being time poor want it done for them. But at an affordable price. And in many cases this is not available, especially in regional areas.
    It is also a good decision if that is not a good use of their time.
    That’s why our social enterprise Digital Business Hub is training local young people in regional areas to build and update websites and social media campaigns 150 young people trained so far doing paid work for over 80 businesses.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam November 16, 2017 at 15:37

    We heard recently from a stakeholder that " you are not going to solve the digital capability of small businesses through digital alone." I think there is some truth to that. A combination of easy to find and compelling online resources with some expert trusted human advice is a 1+1 + 3 situation.

    EDCV the point you make around finding the right skills and talent is an important one. Outsourcing digital capabilities to freelancers and others is one thing but raising the digital capability of existing staff is another challenge. Thanks for your comments.
  • Posted by DigitalEconomyTeam November 16, 2017 at 15:39

    1+1=3 is what I was thinking but perhaps 1+1+3 = 6 also works
  • Posted by alison_howe November 21, 2017 at 10:14

    1. Small businesses need to focus on their core purpose. An account, needs to be an accountant and not an IT specialist. Building capability does play an important role, but product solutions need to be communicated in appropriate language using appropriate media (video guides, quick reference tools).

    2.Consider an independent ranking system for technology ease of deployment, ease of use, ease of maintenance, interoperability etc

    3. Consider a technology collaboration forum for small businesses, enabling exchange of information & support on technology (deployment, use, support). Offer vendors access to the dialogue (encouraging vendor participation offering support tips, product solutions etc).

  • Posted by simplexity November 22, 2017 at 01:19

    Check out how Singapore builds its human resource capability here -
    This national scheme is administered by The Future Economy Council (FEC) whose mission is to drive the growth and transformation of Singapore’s economy for the future. Chaired by Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat, the Council comprises members from government, industry, unions, and educational and training institutions. The FEC will oversee the implementation of the recommendations put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), and will build on the work of the earlier Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity, which includes SkillsFuture initiatives and Industry Transformation Maps.
    I would be happy to assist having migrated from Singapore since 2006.
  • Posted by simplexity November 24, 2017 at 17:55

    Another Singapore Government's initiative to help SMEs use digital technologies, build strong digital capabilities and participate in the Digital Economy is the SMEs Go Digital programme -
    Established by Infocomm Media Development Authority and operated by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), the SME Digital Tech Hub is a dedicated hub that provides specialist digital technology advisory to SMEs with more advanced digital needs, such as data analytics and cybersecurity.
  • Posted by onthehastings November 27, 2017 at 18:38

    Let's look at the definition of small business in the first instance.
    If the Australian government institutions can't agree, it then makes it difficult to identify with a particular group. Even at a Commonwealth level, the ATO and the ABS are at odds. How about we fix this first.

    Next. Even before we add the digital disruptor into the mix, are we sure that small business is sustainable? The ABS data shows the exit and entry information, but what is underlying this? We know that most start-ups fail in the first 5 years. What we have also learnt is that for those that survive, many get to the end of their lifespan and close down. The small business closes because for many it just enabled a family to make a living and there is no demand for a business where the operator works 80hours/week for little return. Technology may help this, so we should look at where it fits.

    Lastly, According to PWC, 80% of small business in Australia are owned by baby boomers and within the next 10 years, more than 1.4 million business owners are expected to retire. Business Spectator and our internal study shows that 7 out of 10 business owners plan to sell their business in the next 5 years. For many, they are less likely to adopt new technology. The good news is that there are many successful businesses and a niche of business owners who are embracing or willing to embrace the digital space. The challenge is to identify this niche and target them with building their capability.
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