Following IBM's local arm winning a $1 billion contract from the federal government to provide all its departments with its technologies, La Rose noted the potential the Australian government has to become a digital pioneer across the globe.
"One thing that is constant in our lives, both professional and personal, is change," he said, delivering the keynote address at IBM Think in Sydney on Wednesday.
"IBM is also changing, and hopefully that's starting to resonate with the way we're showing up. We're resetting relationships, expanding long-standing relationships to ensure that we can help you be the partner of choice and the trusted partner as you go through those challenges in your particular industry.
"I think [this] really demonstrates the way we showed up differently, taking a relationship that has been going on for decades, but principally with four agencies, and expanding that to the full federal government ... to really advance their digital footprint and to take Australia into one of the top three digital governments in the world.
"Giving them access to technologies like AI, blockchain, giving them access to our research and development lab in Melbourne, giving them access to our cyber security lab up on the Gold Coast."
In the past year, Australia has shown the seriousness with which it takes cyber security and emerging digital threats, not just locally, but within the entire Indo-Pacific region, highlighted by the government's commitment of $38.4 million by 2022 for cyber co-operation, including the launch of a National Cyber Security Centre in Papua New Guinea.
The Coalition government also promised to invest $156 million, with the beneficiaries to primarily be older Australians, small businesses and national security assets.
At the time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the funding would keep Australians safe while protecting businesses and the broader economy.
“As the risk of cyber attack increases, we need to ensure Australians are protected and our defence forces and capabilities continue to get the backing they need,” he said.
“We will continue to take a proactive approach against cyber criminals at home and overseas, including scammers, fraudsters and those involved in child exploitation.”
Cyber crime costs the economy over $1 billion a year, with families and small to medium-sized businesses often affected.
Just three months ago, the Federal Parliament was subject to a cyber attack from a foreign government, suspected to be China.