New Zealand businesses urged to use tech more cleverly

The New Zealand government has taken it upon itself to urge New Zealand businesses to use internet technology better.

At a conference in early July in Wellington, the New Zealand Productivity Commission said the country’s productivity growth has been persistently low when compared to other OECD countries.

Among the problems were the fact that information communications technology (ICT) is not used as well as it could be to improve business productivity in New Zealand.

Sapere Research Group principal Hayden Glass, who spoke about research he conducted with Eli Hefter on the subject, said the debate was currently stuck on business access to technology.

“The debate should no longer be about access and it should go beyond technology. The debate is now about business use.”

According to Statistics New Zealand, 70 per cent of businesses in New Zealand had a website, which was less than the 96 per cent of companies which used the internet.

Of these websites, though, only 19 per cent had the capacity to accept online orders, and only 12 per cent would accept online payments.

Most of these websites were “basically brochures”, Glass said.

“In terms of selling things our businesses are much less developed.

“There’s still some work to do in terms of taking advantage of the technologies that are available.”

New Zealand was ranked seventh in the world for use of the internet but only seventeenth when it came to the country’s ability ability to extract economic value from the internet.

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