UPDATE Wednesday 11.50am: Telstra's enterprise leader believes the business sector's relationship with technology will be continually defined by mobility, as more and more businesses break away from the "handcuffs to desks" mentality.
Telstra general managing director for enterprise and government Paul Geason said the real opportunity and lingering question for business was to find a way to exploit it.
In Perth for a series of meetings with WA businesses, the Telstra executive said areas such as internal corporate social networks were also redefining the work environment as companies found more and more effective ways of communicating without borders.
He said there was no doubt mobility was the number one technology area that created excitement and enthusiasm, with organisations looking for opportunities to invest. "It's the nature of how we work in this country," Mr Geason said.
"We're a very mobile population. And for businesses, with the penetration of smartphone devices and tablets growing exponentially, the opportunity is how to exploit it.
"They've got access in their hands, they've got access to very high-speed bandwidth - the question is how to make that more effective for a business."
Speaking on the mining industry specifically, Mr Geason highlighted a recently released research paper from Telstra that showed only 4 per cent of miners were labelled "growth champions" - the lowest of all sectors surveyed.
Mr Geason said the sector was slowly beginning to understand the importance of technologies and networks in driving that growth.
He used the example of machine-to-machine connectivity, as shown through the development of remotely controlled trucks used in iron ore mining, as a way in which the industry was moving in the right direction.
"In the mining sector it's gone from a heavy capital investment phase into a focused production and productivity phase," he said.
"Today the industry is well aware that the way of improving safety and remote operations can only be done if you've got a fantastic network in place. And in turn that investment will create better margins."
Mr Geason said with the risk involved he recognised no business wanted to be on the "bleeding edge" of technology advancement. But, he said it paid dividends if it worked.
"In the past I think a lot of enterprises, not just in the mining industry, have been concerned about the time, cost and risk associated with big technology projects," he said.
"It's understandable, as it changes the way they do business and no one wants to do a big bang and change everything.
"But when something works, other businesses need to catch up quickly."