New year: a new digital and tech focus

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With the new year upon us, many businesses will be excited about what 2022 will bring, while reflecting on what learnings from 2021 they can take with them.

Recent research from telecommunications company 2degrees shows that business decision makers may be looking at technology and digital skills to consider the difference they can make in helping a business ‘revive’.

2021 saw 2degrees commission research for its Shaping Business Study, polling approximately 1000 business decision makers from across the country, from sole traders to organisations with over 50 employees. According to the study technology, digital skills and access were some of the key aspects helping businesses get back on track after the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

35 per cent of those businesses identified flexibility to work from home as important to getting back on track, with over a quarter (26 per cent) identifying improved digital skills and access, and one in five (20 per cent) saying that it was better technology.

Andrew Fairgray, Chief Business Officer at 2degrees, says the research shows that strong digital capabilities can help businesses weather the changing landscape.

“Every business needs to be a technology company, in some way,” says Andrew.

“Technology has played a role in nearly every business’s ability to continue through the ongoing disruption of the past two years, and this will continue as the environment changes.”

When asked about the things they had done to put their business in a better position since the 2020 lockdowns, the 2degrees Shaping Business Study found that 16 per cent of businesses had invested in communication technology, while 15 per cent had invested in computers and equipment for employees to use at home, 14 per cent had trained staff with new digital skills.

Technology and digital upskilling also play a key part in businesses’ future plans. Of business leaders planning to increase investment in their business in the next year, 35 per cent were planning to invest in digital upskilling. The research shows just how important it is that all businesses have a good digital strategy and keep their technology up to date.

“The data is clear; digital skills and technology are enablers for navigating the business environment. However, the research showed us that 25 per cent of Bay of Plenty decision makers said they didn’t possess the digital skills needed to help their business, and that’s an area I’d encourage leaders to investigate moving into 2022,” Andrew says.

“It’s why 2degrees Business is committed to providing fairer access to technology, for businesses of all sizes, and why we partner with organisations like social community and SME network Manaaki and the Chambers of Commerce in the Bay of Plenty.”

A further learning from the research was that 87 per cent of business decision makers in the Bay of Plenty felt confident or very confident in making technology investments, which was pleasing says Andrew, and will help set business leaders up well for the year ahead.

“It’s as clear as it ever has been that digital skills and technology can help businesses build resilience and adaptability. If you want to prepare your business to weather any storm, it will be important to ensure that your technology, digital platforms, and abilities are up to scratch.”

Chat to the 2degrees team about your technology needs on 0800 022 002 or visit 2degrees.nz

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