It is well known that the New Zealand market is made up of a majority of small to medium sized businesses, and many tech companies have looked at ways they can aid Kiwi companies in their success as technology significantly changes the way things are done.
Technology trends most likely to affect SMBs differ depending on the source, but it is generally agreed that mobile, cloud and software automation are the biggest disruptors for the year ahead.
Portable devices such as tablets and smartphones enable companies to do businesses from any location and communicate with clients and staff at all times.
With more devices and applications available to businesses, utilising technology has become much more affordable.
As younger workers enter the workforce, the ability to work on the move and run business applications from tablets and smartphones has become a need-to-have, rather than a nice-to-have.
"A growing majority of SMBs regard mobile solutions as essential business enablers with 60 percent saying mobile solutions are critical to business," said Laurie McCabe, an analyst with SMB Group. "Mobile solutions also account for a growing share of small business technology budgets when we compare findings over the past four years."
Many New Zealand businesses are still not as quite up to speed as they need to be, and miss out on potential business by not adapting to the new world. Businesses who don’t have websites, for example, are less likely to receive business than one who does, with consumers spending more and more time online.
With the right device and applications, a small business can thrive. To aid small businesses, Apple features a collection of iOS apps on The App Store specifically targeted at small to medium sized businesses, aimed to reduce time spent and cost.
iOS iPad Applications
Adobe Shape (free) - A simple and fun way to capture and create vector shapes anywhere, anytime, using the camera on your iPad or iPhone.
Procreate (NZ$7.49) - This Aussie illustration app was designed to take advantage of every ounce of power the iPad can offer. Creatives love it for its unique combination of intuitive design, fluid speed and raw power, allowing artists to create exceptional digital art anywhere.
Weebly (free) - Makes website creation easy, simply drag and drop images, logos, and maps into into beautiful templates, then add your text. Publish your new website quickly and easily, right from your iPad.
Background Eraser Pro (NZ$1.29) - Quickly remove the background, and save transparent images. Canva (free) - An Australian graphic design and photo editing app that allows anyone to create beautiful designs, choosing from over one million layouts, stock photographs and illustrations and using simple drag and drop tools .
Makr (free, with in-app purchases) - This app makes designing and printing custom creations easy, fast and fun. Build your brand with Makr for iPad, customising your logo, then printing paper goods for your business, including business cards, stickers, labels, postcards and stationery.
Shirtsy (NZ$2.49) - Design and print custom t-shirts, hoodies and tanks. Drag and drop images, text and art to create your own unique designs, then order them online for express delivery.