The ASX outage is another tech debacle for a major Australian institution. This is worrying

Turn it off and on again. (Photo by Folb/Getty Images)

Forget about being more innovative. It would be nice if the technology infrastructure in Australia for important institutions would just work properly.

Just weeks after the Australian national census descended into farce because of a confluence of technical problems, Australia’s share market failed to open on time because of a technical error.

The ASX said the problem was due to “an issue with a component that allows ASX to manage individual stocks”, and pushed back the market open to 11.30am.

A problem with a component whose job it is to “manage individual stocks” seems like a pretty fundamental one.

Now it’s not uniquely Australian, this problem. The Nasdaq, for example, has endured some spectacular outages in recent years. And back in June, hundreds of Australian digital sites and products were knocked out of action because of a storm-induced problem with Amazon Web Services. It killed off delivery of streaming services like Stan and Foxtel Play.

Websites and digital services sometimes just go down, and people get that.

But consider that Telstra, the country’s largest telco, has been through a period of repeated service outages for its customers.

When pillars of a functioning modern economy like Telstra, the ASX and the Australian Bureau of Statistics are beset by highly-visible technical problems, you can’t help but wonder if Australia is facing some kind of structural deficit with technology skills.

How was the ASX allowed to open with this “component” not working?

For the country to compete as the modern, flexible economy that Malcolm Turnbull envisions, it needs a deep pool of technology infrastructure skills that keeps everything running.