Business missing out on internet opportunities
Businesses using cloud technologies are more likely to be more successful, according to new research into the state of the nation's online business environment.
The latest MYOB Business Monitor, a survey of 1000 Kiwi business owners, shows these businesses sell more and pay higher wages than other companies.
They are 13 per cent more likely to have had revenue growth over the last 12 months and 43 per cent more likely to have more work or sales in the pipeline for the next quarter. It also shows 54 per cent are more likely to be diversifying their business and product offerings.
Employees also benefited with businesses making use of cloud solutions 61 per cent more likely to increase staff wages and salaries over the coming year and 33 per cent more likely to hire additional staff.
MYOB general manager Julian Smith said using the internet as a business tool allowed companies to be more efficient and productive, which lifted profitability.
''The use of cloud services also reflects a new way of working, allowing businesses to become more mobile and their teams to work remotely, and for teams and businesses to collaborate.''
Kiwi businesses also found lower costs in a range of areas from reduced IT management to scalable technology costs.
New Zealand consumers are also likely to benefit from increased use of the cloud. A third of businesses in the MYOB Business Monitor said they would pass on any administrative cost savings to customers.
But Smith said too few businesses were taking advantage of what the survey found. Currently, just 14 per cent of New Zealand businesses use cloud services, and only 35 per cent have their own website.
''Businesses tell us that the main barriers to making use of the cloud is that they don't know enough about it to make an informed decision,'' Smith said.
''They have concerns about how and where their data will be stored and managed; and they have too many other priorities at present.''
It highlighted the need to adopt a mass-market approach to promoting the benefits of the internet, he said. It was not enough just to build the technology and talk about the technical details.
''We must make it easy for time-poor business owners to understand the benefits and adapt new internet-based tools and services,'' said Smith.
NZIER economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the survey results highlighted the potentially transformational effects of the internet for the economy.
''How we use technology to overcome the tyranny of distance and our small scale could define New Zealand and our place in the world in the 21st Century,'' he said.
''Businesses who aren't embracing the internet are missing out on real competitive advantages, and that means losing market share.''
- © Fairfax NZ News