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NZ businesses focused on down-home issues, not global ones

14 June 2018

NZ businesses focused on down-home issues, not global ones

A new survey has revealed Kiwi businesses expect technological change and an ageing population to have more impact on their operations than globalisation and the rise of Asia.

Of the nine ‘global megatrends’ identified in the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) survey of 500 New Zealand business leaders, nearly a quarter (24 percent) rated technology as having the biggest effect. At the other end of the scale, climate change and resource scarcity were picked to have the least impact (both 7 percent of businesses).

The ageing population (16 percent) was also on many business leaders’ minds. Like climate change and resource scarcity, growth in Asia (8 percent) was low down on the list. (See attached graph for details).

Geraldine Magarey, CA ANZ’s Leader Policy and Thought Leadership said the survey for CA ANZ’s Future of Business report shows greater concern over local forces than global ones.

“Businesses are very focused on the here and now – what’s happening directly with their businesses, and with the local economy, rather than the ‘big’ issues such as globalisation which policy makers and commentators sometimes emphasise.

“That’s perfectly logical, but businesses need to remember that they are not immune from global forces.

“At some stage they will have an impact.”

The survey asked businesses on both sides of the Tasman about their views on the future in the face of unprecedented levels of uncertainty and competition.

The results found that 55 per cent of Trans-Tasman businesses that reported being above-average in terms of agility are also experiencing above-average revenue growth – a clear sign that adapting to changing conditions helps businesses prosper.

Magarey said the report shows there is a lot businesses can do to reach their financial goals in the midst of constant change and the next wave of technology.

“The size of a business can affect its agility, and the biggest issue today is leanness, with more than two in five businesses in Australia and New Zealand saying they have underutilised resources.

“Pleasingly, many businesses know they need to be more proactive in considering these issues, with two in five planning to review their business model more frequently in the future.

“What businesses are focusing on is dependent on their size. Large businesses are prioritising increasing customer satisfaction and investing in digital, while small businesses are focused on improving cash flow and marketing methods.”

More than half of surveyed businesses are not currently using any exponential technologies, which include artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, 3D printing, blockchain and autonomous vehicles. However three in five are expecting to take up at least one of them in five years’ time.

“While all exponential technologies won’t apply to every business, those who fail to embrace new opportunities risk missing out,” said Magarey.

The research shows that in Australia and New Zealand larger firms are more likely to have taken up exponential technologies, and to say that they will adopt them in the future, which may be due to either greater awareness or more capital to invest.

A full copy of the Future of Business report can be found here.

Key findings

• Australasian businesses expect technological change and an aging population to have more impact on their operations than globalisation and the rise of Asia.
• 55% of Australian and New Zealand businesses who reported being above average in terms of agility were also experiencing above-average revenue growth.
• More than half (58%) of Trans-Tasman businesses in our survey are not currently using any exponential technologies, being robotics, drones, 3D printing, blockchain, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. Three in five surveyed businesses expect to have taken up any of the next wave of ‘exponential’ technologies in five years’ time.
• Larger Australian and New Zealand firms are more likely to have taken up exponential technologies, and to say that they will adopt them in the future.
• Three quarters of Australian and New Zealand businesses are positive about their outlook over the next five years.


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