Kiwi businesses are digitally lagging

17.03.17

by Thomas Emmerson

It's not just internationally, many businesses are behind their regional counterparts, according to Barrie Shears, Managing Director for Microsoft New Zealand.

“It’s concerning to see that while there is widespread acknowledgement on the need to transform, Kiwi businesses are doing so incrementally and not keeping pace with their regional counterparts. Leaders need to rethink business models, uncover and use data insights and embrace a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes which create value in a new digital business.”

Digital technology arises rapidly, and many offer similar solutions. Accounting software has grown nationwide with Xero and MYOB making it easier for people to manage their accounts online.

marketing software

Cloud-based software may seem scary but it is easily becoming the future. Aforementioned services aside even Adobe's design software is now cloud-based, and marketing software is embracing the cloud.

Traditional business owners are unsure of which technologies to adopt, and how they may affect their business. Will someone's job become redundant from the right piece of software? How will customer be affected? Will older member of the workforce be able to adapt and change?

Technology is an aggressive agent of change. And a business can either embrace it or fight it, but in the end it's not going to go away.

I was once chatting to a business owner that relied on word of mouth for new business and couldn't see the point in investing in a website, or 'getting on search engines'. The word of mouth continued as his service was excellent, but there was no growth and customers were loyal but word couldn't spread quickly enough.

Likewise another business refused to update their IT infrastructure and CRM as it would eliminate a loyal employee's role. The technological shortfall meant they missed customer updates and records often went missing. They started to see a drop in customers as they left for more reliable operators. They're still in business but it won't be long before their desire to protect one employee's job may cost the whole business a future.

Marketing has gone digital very quickly yet I'm still shocked by how many people have their customer database on an Excel spreadsheet. They don't seem concerned by how much manual entry is required, or what the consequences would be if they lost that spreadsheet to a virus or computer damage.

“Emerging technologies, specifically, cloud, analytics and new capabilities like AI and IoT will give organisations new capability to transform. However real transformation only happens when businesses bring their people along with them. Equipping employees with the right tools to enable them to be part of solution and be more responsive, data driven and customer centric are also essential,” says Sheers.

The software itself can't revolutionise a business, the people running the software can though. If you don't have the internal expertise to run your marketing or sales through software then you should talk to people like us. The savings available through greater efficiency, insight and productivity will almost always outweigh the cost of using external partners.

 

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