IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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NZ business leaders anticipate growth & government support in 2024
Tue, 30th Jan 2024

A new Datacom survey of senior business leaders in New Zealand reveals that growth is a dominant focus for 2024, with 35% of participants ranking it as the top priority for their business. Staff retention and recruitment (24%) and workplace productivity (19%) closely followed in survey responses.

The study also surfaced significant optimism for improved government support, with 71% of respondents expecting better opportunities for New Zealand businesses under the incoming government. Furthermore, 65% believe their industry will receive better backing from the government.

The results follow a lengthy period of stagnant GDP growth, labour shortages, and declining national productivity. Businesses have shown resilience and high levels of confidence amid these challenges, gearing themselves for growth. CEOs were the most confident group, with 93% expressing optimism about the new government's potential to positively impact their businesses.

On the technological front, the top prospects for 2024 gravitate around data (34%), automation (31%), and cybersecurity (25%). As businesses increasingly tailoring their infrastructure to accommodate these priorities, new opportunities are expected to appear. The survey anticipates the next significant breakthroughs to involve data-driven insights supporting decision-making (33%), workforce enablement tools (23%), and generative AI and digital skills training (20%).

The collected responses also highlighted a need for overseeing customer experience during the pursuit of growth. "Customer experience fell surprisingly low in business priorities (6%) but noted this rose again to 18% among c-suite respondents," pointed out Datacom New Zealand Managing Director, Justin Gray. He marks the lack of focus on customer experience as a potential hindrance to growth in the medium to long term.

In terms of expectations from the new government, 72% of respondents see boosting the economy as the most crucial area. This priority was particularly high among participants from companies with more than 200 employees, standing at 94%. Improving public services and addressing climate change were also raised as key government concerns, albeit with less support. Just over 31% of participants chose public services, and only 17% selected climate change as significant areas for government attention.

Regarding the trending debate on work methodology, with options between hybrid and traditional models, the survey revealed less uniform responses. While 40% of participants advocated a continued support for the hybrid work model, 27% were against it. In this context, Gray reflected, "the deciding factor for workplace productivity and creating positive experiences for both employees and customers amounts to having the right physical work environment and platforms and tools in place."

The survey was conducted in December 2023 and included 200 senior business leaders (c-suite, senior managers, IT managers) from New Zealand businesses with more than 100 employees.