The federal government has released a statistical analysis of Australia's software industry.
IT Minister Senator Coonan released the report, entitled "The Australian software industry and vertical application markets: globally competitive, domestically undervalued - the first statistical analysis in Australia of specialist software firms."
The report estimates that in 2004-05 the Australian software industry employed 17,000 staff and earned $2.7 billion.
Specialist software development firms earned $934 million, of which 89 percent, or $831 million, was earned by Australian-grown firms.
"There are many globally successful Australian ICT firms and the report indicates that there are significant further growth opportunities for the Australian software industry in niche industries such as education, energy, government, health, ICT, manufacturing, minerals, and trade and commerce," Senator Coonan said.
"Australian-grown specialist developers are aggressively targeting the export market and, according to estimates, account for $226 million of exports, or 27 percent of their revenue.
"It is my aim to grow these potential export opportunities and I will shortly be discussing the development of industry priorities with industry and state and territory governments; this report will help guide those discussions."
The report will contribute to the ongoing development of Australia's ICT capability and innovation policy and builds on the 2002 McKinsey report Australia: winning in the global ICT industry, which gave a strategic overview of ICT sector opportunities and challenges in the medium term.
The Centre for Innovative Industry Economic Research produced the report with the support of the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Pearcey Foundation.