Story image

Costs, government regulation holding back Kiwi SMB tech dreams

27 Oct 2015

Cost and government regulation are two key barriers to Kiwi small and medium businesses fully embracing technology changes according to a new survey.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor Digital Nation survey shows 47% of the more than 1000 SME business operators interviewed for the survey have acquired new computer hardware or software in the last year.

However, 33% say cost is a major barrier to adopting technological innovation, while 19% are concerned government regulation is holding them back and 12% cite a lack of appropriately skilled staff as a barrier.

Sixty per cent said the pace of technology development is ‘about right’, but 21% of business operators outside of the main centres feel they are struggling to keep up with the latest innovations in technology.

Tim Reed, MYOB New Zealand chief executive, says keeping pace with rapidly changing technology is ‘the new normal’ for businesses, which stand to gain considerable benefits from the latest innovations.

“The latest innovations, from the cloud to business intelligence, are transforming the way we do business,” Reed says. “While it can take some effort to keep pace with emerging and evolving technologies – especially if they are not yet commonplace in your sector – it is worth the investment.”

Reed says benefits include improved productivity and efficiency, greater ability to reach and interact with new customers and having access to real-time information to support better decision making.

The report shows half of local SMEs now have an online presence – and over the last 12 months, 40% of businesses with an online presence increased revenue compared to just 25% of those without a website.

Key benefits of being online, according to those surveyed, included generating more enquiries and leads, making it easier for customers to do business, and increased interaction with customers. Thirty-four per cent also said being online allowed them to be more competitive.

“After tracking the technology adoption of New Zealand SMEs for over three years, we can quite clearly say that businesses that are online and keeping pace with technology are doing better across every performance measure, “ Reed says.

There’s bad news in the survey for internet providers, with satisfaction with internet access – speed and reliability – slipping from 49% in March 2015 to 40% in September. Levels of dissatisfaction have climbed from 29% to 34% during the same period.

Reed says the issues deserve national attention.

“From ensuring the availability of skilled, trained staff to driving the roll-out of UFB harder – particularly in the regions – this is something that deserves national attention from Government, business agencies and technology and telecommunications providers,” Reed says.

“Making it as easy as possible for businesses to adopt technology will have a profound effect in creating a diverse competitive and internationally-engaged New Zealand economy,” he adds.

Google 'will do better' after G Suite passwords exposed since 2005
Fourteen years is a long time for sensitive information like usernames and passwords to be sitting ducks, unencrypted and at risk of theft and corruption.
Commission warns Spark for misleading in-contract customers
The warning follows an investigation into representations Spark made on its website and in emails in August and September 2018.
Qualtrics aims to help organisations master experience management
Experience Basecamp helps users master XM products, including CustomerXM, EmployeeXM and Research Core.
Cloud innovation driving NZ IT services market, says IDC
Managed services makes up the largest portion of total IT services revenue. However, the project-oriented market achieved the highest YoY growth.
Kiwi software company aims to improve global customer experience
Plexure has developed an intelligent technology platform that powers mobile marketing.
Hands-on review: Playing the long game with the The iPhone XR
The red XR is a rare case of having a phone that’s ‘too pretty to be covered’ - and it’s not hard to see why.
What the future of fibre looks like in NZ
The Commerce Commission has released its emerging views paper on the rules, requirements and processes which will underpin the new regulatory regime for New Zealand’s fibre networks.
Gen Z confidence in the economy is on the decline
Businesses need to work hard to improve their reputations.