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NZ businesses moved 40 times faster than they thought possible when COVID-19 hit

Five years of advances in digital transformation for New Zealand businesses has occurred in a period of eight weeks, due to COVID-19.

This is the key finding of a new report by Raygun. In addition to the above, the report finds that digital or digitally-enabled products accelerated by seven years during that time frame.

Furthermore, this growth looks set to continue with findings showing that just a 20% increase in uptake of cloud computing by small to medium businesses will result in increased GDP of between $3.5 billion and $6.2 billion.

One of the obvious reasons behind this trend is that businesses have had to provide the ability for employees to work remotely, Raygun states.

Reports indicate companies moved 40 times more quickly than they thought possible before the pandemic due to digital acceleration.

With this situation repeatedly arising as Auckland has endured further snap lockdowns, and the rest of the country has moved between COVID alert levels 1 and 2, the need for remote working is still a pressing issue.

Raygun CEO John Daniel Trask says, “Unprecedented momentum in the technology sector caused the high growth already underway in the industry to skyrocket, as tech businesses responded and mobilised in a variety of ways to deliver solutions to keep Kiwi businesses open for business through lockdowns, restrictions and uncertainty.”

According to Trask, these changes and digital transformations have been empowered by innovations from the tech sector.

Trask says, “NZ tech companies have implemented an array of solutions and support. The tech sector has really come together through COVID-19, and not only supported each other but provided critical advice and information to many Kiwi businesses.

“Retail was supported with e-commerce offerings, while the hospitality industry was effectively revolutionised by remote food ordering software that allowed businesses to open that would not have been able to meet restriction requirements or demand otherwise.

"As we have seen with further lockdowns in Auckland recently, this continues to be vital.”

Trask says other examples of support from the tech sector include online digital marketing offerings, innovating new technological products to help the most hard-hit industries and even supporting mental health via app technology.

Support is important for the country’s small businesses, and not only by the tech sector but the government, according to Trask.

In fact, the New Zealand Government recently announced a $20 million Small Business Initiative for new training and tools for digital commerce, which will in turn help boost the economy.

Trask says, “Both the sector and the government realise that [technology] is an incredibly important way to help stimulate economic growth, and it applies to Kiwi businesses across many industries."