Information and Communications Technology businesses

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia's information and communications technology (ICT) hub.  

ICT-related occupations

NSW also continues to be the largest employer of people in ICT-related occupations, with an average of 171,300 people or more than 36% of the national total in 2012-13. This includes around:

  • 30,700 software and applications programmers
  • 16,900 graphic and web designers and illustrators
  • 20,700 ICT support technicians, and 
  • 12,300 database and systems administrators and ICT security specialists.  
Server room personnel

Services export

NSW is also the base for Australia's ICT services exports. 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2012-13, NSW exports of telecommunications, computer and information services were worth $903 million, representing around 50% of the national total.  

Businesses and multinational companies

New South Wales is the preferred location for ICT businesses in Australia, and is host to many ICT multinational companies.  The state was home to approximately 25,800 businesses operating in ICT as at June 2012, representing 39% of the Australian total. 

IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Google, Oracle, Vodafone, Accenture, Fujitsu, Lenovo and Acer have all chosen Sydney as the base for their Australian or regional operations.  

Additionally, the state is home to the headquarters of National ICT Australia (NICTA), Australia's ICT research centre of excellence and the nation's largest organisation dedicated to ICT research.

Businesses and Employment in Information and Communications Technology - Australian States and Territories
State/Territory Number of businesses1,2,3,4 % of Australia Employment, '0005,6 % of Australia
New South Wales 25,811 38.7 171.3 36.5
Victoria 18,682 28.0 133.8 28.5
Queensland 10,791 16.2 70.6 15.0
Western Australia 5,315 8.0 35.8 7.6
South Australia 3,233 4.9 26.3 5.6
Australian Capital Territory 1,738 2.6 22.0 4.7
Tasmania 705 1.1 6.6 1.4
Northern Territory 239 0.4 3.0 0.6
Australia 66,646 100.0 469.3 100.0


  1.  Business numbers refer to counts of businesses actively trading in goods and services, and include employing and non-employing businesses. ICT businesses are classified to the following Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) classes: 2421, Computer and electronic office equipment manufacturing; 2422, Communication equipment manufacturing; 2429, Other electronic equipment manufacturing; 3492, Computer and computer peripheral wholesaling; 3493, Telecommunications goods wholesaling; 3494, Other electrical and electronic goods wholesaling; 5420, Software publishing; 5801, Wired telecommunications network operation; 5802, Other telecommunications network operation; 5809, Other telecommunications services; 5910, Internet service providers and web search portals; 5921, Data processing and web hosting services; 5922, Electronic information storage services; 7000, Computer system design and related services; 9422, Electronic (except domestic appliance) and precision equipment repair and maintenance.   
  2. As at 30 June 2012
  3. Businesses can operate in more than one state or territory, and in these cases are classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to their main state or territory. For businesses in the ABS' 'non profiled population' (which generally consist of businesses with simple legal structures), this is derived from the main business address. For businesses in the 'profiled population', the main state is the state or territory with the highest employment. Additionally, as the business counts data provided by the ABS are largely sourced from businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN), they may be regarded as providing partial coverage of businesses in a given state, depending on the entity's legal structure. For example, if a business registers for a single ABN, but operates from many physical locations (or 'shopfronts'), coverage will be restricted to the state of the main or 'head office' location only. This is particularly relevant for larger businesses, which commonly establish outlets in numerous states and territories across Australia and also operate from a head office location. Alternatively, multiple commercial activities of a single business enterprise may be registered for separate ABNs, depending on the enterprise's legal structure. Hence, where commercial activities are carried out by a number of different, but related entities, each entity may register for a separate ABN and will therefore be counted separately. Care should therefore be taken not to equate the number of businesses represented by ABNs with the number of business operations.
  4. Total for Australia includes 132 businesses with state or territory unknown
  5. Employment data are on an occupation basis, with ICT occupations defined as those classified to the following categories of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations 2006 (ANZSCO06):  ICT Managers; ICT Professionals not further defined (nfd); Business and Systems Analysts and Programmers nfd; ICT Business and Systems Analysts; Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers; Software and Applications Programmers; Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists; ICT Network and Support Professionals nfd; Computer Network Professionals; ICT Support and Test Engineers; Telecommunications Engineering Professionals; ICT and Telecommunications Technicians nfd; ICT Support Technicians; Telecommunications Technical Specialists; ICT Trainers; ICT Sales Professionals; Electronics Engineers; Graphic and Web Designers and Illustrators; Electronic Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians; Electrotechnology and Telecommunications Trades Workers nfd; Electronics Trades Workers; Electronics and Telecommunications Trades Workers nfd; Telecommunications Trades Workers.
  6. Employment over financial year 2012-13 based on the average of aggregate data for August quarter 2012, November quarter 2012, February quarter 2013, and May quarter 2013

Sources: ABS Cat. No. 8165.0, Counts of Australian Businesses, June 2008 to June 2012; ABS Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003, Labour Force Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, February 2014