Kiwi businesses could add $34 billion to the economy simply by making better use of the internet, according to research presented by the Innovation Partnership at NetHui this week.
The research, The Value of Internet Services to New Zealand Businesses, was funded by Innovation Partnership members Internet New Zealand and Google, and conducted by Sapere Research Group.
It shows that businesses that extensively use Internet services are six per cent more productive than average businesses in their industry and compared to low-users, heavy Internet users are 73 per cent more productive.
As a result, getting all New Zealand businesses to make the most of the Internet could add $34 billion to the economy through increased productivity and efficiency.
Murray Sherwin, Chair of the Innovation Partnership, says the Internet could have been purpose-built for New Zealand, yet many businesses aren’t using it to its full potential.
“We talked to businesses across New Zealand, from the tourism and retail sectors, to dairy farmers and professional services businesses,” Sherwin says.
“While we found that the Internet is having a positive impact on productivity, too many businesses aren’t using the tools available to unlock the Internet’s potential.
“Businesses need to adopt easy-to-access and cost-effective tools such as cloud-based business systems and transformative online supply chain management.
"Doing so can drastically increase their productivity and, ultimately, improve their bottom lines."
According to Sherwin, the real difference for business lies not just in being connected, but in how effectively they use the Internet to rethink and reorganise the way they do things.
“Businesses like the Martinborough Top 10 Holiday Park demonstrate just how much of an impact using the Internet effectively can have on a typical Kiwi business," he says.
“Kiwi businesses like these are using the Internet to find new customers, improve their business data-gathering and market-targeting, and facilitate customer interaction with real-time online services.”
To help businesses make the most of the Internet, the Innovation Partnership has launched digitaljourney.co.nz a tool to help businesses make the most of online services and tools.
Digital Journey has been developed by the Digital Office, a New Zealand not-for-profit organisation focused on increasing use of digital services, with funding from Internet New Zealand and Google.
Digital Journey assesses a business’ unique situation and provides a digital action plan with clear steps to harness the potential of the Internet.
Once their assessment is complete, they can check back in to update their progress and look for the next actions in their plan.
The Digital Journey tool is free to use at digitaljourney.co.nz