Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Dawn Of New Digital Era: New Zealand Smes Embrace Tech To Futureproof Operations

 

· Remote working, increased virtual meetings and reduced physical premises likely

· Productivity and efficiency bigger drivers of change than customer communications

· Cloud computing, connectivity and big data top trends SMEs expect to change their industry

The far-reaching implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have already changed the way New Zealand businesses operate and according to a new report from MYOB, the experience will significantly increase their use of technology.

Released this week, the MYOB Tech Report highlights that local businesses are now making some major changes to futureproof their operations. Allowing employees to use flexible hours (55%), developing continuity planning (56%), using new technology (55%) and buying from local rather than international businesses (55%) are among the key changes local SMEs are now considering.

The use of technology has also prompted significant changes in the way businesses plan to work, with 49% allowing staff to work from home at least part of the week, 30% considering reducing or closing physical premises to focus on online sales, and 25% planning to introduce more automation or technology to reduce dependence on human workers.

MYOB New Zealand Country Manager, Ingrid Cronin-Knight, says New Zealand businesses have been through an extraordinary transformation which is likely to reshape the economy for years to come.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses and their employees to change the way they work and as a result, many are now reassessing their operations,” explains Ingrid.

“Because technology has enabled businesses to do things differently - some much more so than before - many SME operators are now more open to reimagining how they plan to work in the future.”

Technology driving increased performance

However, it isn’t just the restrictions and disruptions that businesses faced during the initial response to pandemic that are driving these decisions.

“Our insights suggest that many businesses saw real improvements as a result of the changes they made through the use of technology, such as video calling, cloud applications, instant messaging and even setting up an e-commerce site. Now, they’re looking to lock these benefits in for the future with a focus on driving positive business outcomes like improved productivity and boosting staff or customer engagement,” explains Ingrid.

Top five reasons SMEs are more likely to look at new opportunities to use technology:

1. To increase productivity (68%)

2. To ensure their business is more efficient (65%)

3. To allow staff to work remotely if necessary (44%)

4. To ensure they can communicate with staff (37%)

5. To ensure they can communicate with customers (36%)

How technology has changed business over the last five years

When it comes to looking back at the impact technology has had for New Zealand SMEs over the past five years, SME operators have witnessed a range of changes to the way they do business as a result of increasing their use of technology.

From physical reminders of a changing workspace, such as the reduction in the use of paper records (40%), to improved productivity and efficiency (36%), to creating a better environmental footprint (25%) – many aspects of the working environment have shifted since 2015 as a result of a greater use of technology.

Among the leading tech trends that SME decision-makers say are driving the changes in their workplaces are the move to virtual rather than physical meetings (39%), the increasing use of mobile devices over desktop PCs (34%) and the adoption of cloud computing (32%).

Expected changes over the next five years

Over the next five years, many of these trends will become even more prevalent amongst SMEs, as other, more-advanced technologies begin to have an impact on the smaller business sector.

The top five technologies SMEs expect will change their industry over the next five years:

1. Cloud computing (38%)

2. Improvements in connectivity (34%)

3. Big data (21%)

4. Automation and robotics / 3D printing (17%)

5. Artificial Intelligence (16%)

“We’re on the cusp of real transformation in the way SMEs do business,” explains Ingrid.

“While it has been driven by necessity, the dynamism of our SMEs and the eagerness of local business operators to be responsive to change and ready to explore new innovations should create real advantages for the SME sector and the wider economy, in the future.”

To download the Tech Report, visit the MYOB media centre.

The MYOB Techweek panel

MYOB’s latest Tech Report insights will inform MYOB’s Techweek 2020 panel discussion, held in partnership with Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The virtual event, taking place at 6.30pm on Thursday 30th July, will see a panel of experts discuss: “How Coronavirus transformed our use of technology.”

Looking at both the technological impacts of the pandemic, new opportunities and the implications for the local economy, the panel will feature:

· Priti Ambani - Director of Innovation, Tech Futures Lab

Over the last 10 years, in Asia, North America and Europe, Priti has led initiatives and start-up ventures that leverage the dynamics of digital collaboration and emerging disruptive technologies to create thriving societies.

· John Flackett - AI Specialist in Residence, AUT and Head & Co-founder, AiLab

A noted AI speaker with 20+ years’ experience and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, John regularly presents on key insights on emerging technologies and their future impact on society. John has received various awards, featured in the UK's 2019 Million Plus campaign and has co-founded two businesses: koolth & AiLab.

· Grant Mclvor - Head of Delivery (Enterprise), MYOB

Grant is an established product development leader with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration. At MYOB he delivers Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and payroll solutions as Head of Delivery for Enterprise.
 

· Abby Thompson - Protégé Developer, MYOB

A software engineering graduate from Auckland University who interned at Google and Macquarie Bank in Sydney. After a year-long working holiday in Canada, Abby secured a Graduate Developer role at MYOB in Auckland.

For further details about the event visit www.techweek.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, ... More>>

Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: