How data is driving business investment

BrandPost By Sunshine Coast Council
Jan 19, 2020
Technology Industry

Globally, the ability for companies to access more and better data is now a fundamental part of gaining competitive advantage and delivering exceptional customer experience.

SCC Globe
Credit: Sunshine Coast Council

In fact, future data requirements are now a critical component of the decision-making process for new investment, particularly when it comes to where companies will locate their headquarters or IT teams.

The pace of digital disruption shows no signs of stalling. A 2018 survey of more than 3000 CIOs from 89 countries found digital initiatives are top priorities for CIOs, and the ability to support greater scale was being “invested in and developed in three key areas: Volume, scope, and agility.”1

As demand for the world’s most valuable commodity continues to skyrocket, so does the need to mitigate risk. Low latency, reliability, minimising down time, and having a mixed portfolio of data connections are all on the radar of CIOs and C-suite executives when it comes to risk management.

Locations delivering uptime 

Traditionally, tech-based businesses and massive data users have been drawn to capital cities. But as regions step up with newer and better infrastructure, many companies are looking beyond the capitals. Furthermore, parts of regional Australia are uniquely placed to offer the increasingly desirable combination of low business costs and a better lifestyle.

video screen shot 2 Sunshine Coast Council

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has Australia’s newest international broadband submarine cable coming ashore in early 2020.

The cable will offer the fastest data connection from Australia’s east coast to Asia and is the only location outside of Sydney and Perth to offer direct international connectivity. 

According to Amazon Web Services (AWS), access to an immense pool of tech talent, the opportunity to facilitate work-life harmony for staff, and infrastructure that supports productivity are critical factors in location-based investment decisions.

AWS is the world’s most broadly adopted cloud platform, with more than 165 features serviced from data centres across the globe.

Iain Rouse, AWS Australia and New Zealand Director, said the company took a long-term view of its data requirements, seeking to ensure 100 per cent connectivity for customers.

“When you have a population of 20 million connecting to a service in the cloud, the service needs to be highly responsive. This is a business requirement that must frame our investment decisions,” Mr Rouse said.

“If we think about global connectivity for business, we need to consider more secure links, low latency links, the least cost path, and the shortest distance between two points. AWS explores a range of diverse paths to maximise uptime.”

“We are super excited about the opportunity to work with Sunshine Coast Council to develop the next generation of skilled workforce,” Mr Rouse said.

When there’s downtime

The results of downtime can be disastrous in terms of lost revenue and compromised customer experience. Steve Grubb, Global Optical Architect at Facebook, reported at a recent industry conference Facebook invests in four diverse paths to every major connection to ensure continuous connectivity and maximise uptime.

Some industries, especially Australia’s $140 billion2 financial services sector, could scarcely exist in a modern operating environment without highly sophisticated IT systems and a continuous worldwide data stream.

The Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network will offer data-hungry companies additional diverse paths (domestically and internationally) and offer telecommunications service providers additional risk management options.

The cable project was a key driver in bringing Huddle Insurance to the region in 2018. A technology-led challenger in Australia’s $42 billion general insurance market, Huddle uses artificial intelligence and chat bots to offer instant claims processing.

Founder and Joint Chief Executive Jason Wilby said the cable project was “a real drawcard for our business, providing the ability to handle large volumes of data, reduce data risk and allow faster transactions.

 “On the Sunshine Coast, we’ve found an entrepreneurial community that rivals Sydney, and discovered people with brilliant minds and smart ways of working also want to work in environments like the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

From 2020 the Sunshine Coast will deliver the fastest data and telecommunications connection to Asia from Australia’s east coast and the second fastest to the USA.

With future-proof capability, the new cable will increase data transmission speed, reduce risk and lead to a reduction in international communications costs for businesses.

To find out more about the Sunshine Coast and the new international broadband network, go to

1 Gartner, 2018: Gartner survey or more than 3,000 CIOs reveals that enterprises are entering their third era of IT.

2 The Treasury, Australian Government, The strength of Australia’s financial sector.