Story image

Kiwis sceptical about tech's future impact on their business

03 Dec 18

The future of business will bring technologies and buzzwords like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, and biometrics to life, but few New Zealand businesses are actually prepared for that inevitable change.

MYOB’s 2018 Future of Business report seems to suggest that many business owners are in denial – 22% of polled SME owners believe that such technologies wouldn’t have an impact on their business over the next few years.

While the majority do understand that change is coming, they’re not exactly sure what ones will impact them most. According to the report 14% expect AI and robotics to impact their industry; 6% think the same about machine learning and 3D printing.

On the same note, 27% think AI is overhyped, 26% believe virtual reality is overhyped, and 22% believe that even autonomous vehicles are overhyped.

But AI is already transforming New Zealand’s agriculture industry. The MYOB report looks at Acuris Systems, an agritech startup that uses AI and machine learning to count crops and other important data for fruit farmers.

“Human labour is expensive and prone to error,” explains Acuris Systems co-founder Nick Woon. “So our technology uses the power of AI, ML and robotics to autonomously capture fruit data in a matter of hours – improving yield estimation and a farmer’s bottom line.”

The most notable change most New Zealand businesses expect is within internet connectivity – but faster internet may not be a major change driver unlike some of the other technologies businesses are ignoring.  That’s according to MYOB futurist-in-residence, Keran McKenzie.

“If we compare current technology like the internet and cloud computing to that expected in the next three to five years, the so-called ‘transformative’ paper-to-desktop era of the last 20 years was simply the beginning of our technology journey,” says McKenzie

“Today, the next wave of disruption – the dawn of General AI, nanobots, the internet-of-things, big data and the blockchain – is imminent, and is set to change everything we know about technology and the role it plays in business.”

This is the time to embrace technology rather than avoid it or play the waiting game, McKenzie says. After all, disruption isn’t new – nor are the challenges and decisions that come with it. This is essentially similar to the industrial revolution: disruption and success are key.

The MYOB report says the world will have to grapple with technological convergence; privacy issues in an open data world; digitally-capable communities; and the scourge of fake news and digital manipulation ahead.

 “With the right mindset, tools and resources, technology like AI and machine learning, robotics and the internet-of-things will only strengthen a business’ ability to solve their customers’ greatest problems,” McKenzie says.

He believes that businesses should be curious; get things done; embrace change; find talented people; and fall in love with solving problems. 

Is Supermicro innocent? 3rd party test finds no malicious hardware
One of the larger scandals within IT circles took place this year with Bloomberg firing shots at Supermicro - now Supermicro is firing back.
IoT and real-time visibility: The future of intelligent enterprise
"Given the enormous potential of IoT, any companies that don’t act will risk falling behind."
O-RAN Alliance and Linux to create an open source software community
“Our joint efforts will help accelerate the creation, integration, and deployment of open source in RAN.”
MulteFire announces industrial IoT network specification
The specification aims to deliver robust wireless network capabilities for Industrial IoT and enterprises.
Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks extend partnership
Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have extended their partnership to include more security features and customer support for all major public clouds.
How Adobe aims to drive digital transformation for financial services
Digital transformation is a requirement for ongoing competitiveness that clearly helps businesses run more efficiently.
Using blockchain to ensure regulatory compliance
“Data privacy regulations such as the GDPR require you to put better safeguards in place to protect customer data, and to prove you’ve done it."
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."