Kiwi businesses remain shy on Internet of Things

23 October, 2018 by
FMCG Business

Customers are ready. The technology is ready. What are businesses waiting for?

Recent research shows New Zealand is the fourth most Internet of Things (IoT)-ready country in the G20 with 70% of businesses believing it will be truly transformational¹.  The research also suggests uptake has been slow with only 14% of businesses using the technology¹.

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Despite this, Spark Lab predicts the adoption of this new technology is only a matter of time.

“If you go back to the 90’s, it took time for business to get online,” says Spark Digital Services Lead Michael Stribling​. “Then when social media came along we saw the same hesitancy,” he says.

“Now, the Internet of Things means businesses can understand more about customers than ever, the opportunity is huge,” says Stribling.

Spark Lab puts the slow IoT uptake down to a number of factors – including time-pressured business owners struggling to get up to speed and under-investment in new technology.  Almost a quarter (21%) of businesses have concerns about the upfront cost¹. Stribling understands those concerns.

“Many of our small businesses have challenges when it comes to cashflow, and there is the perception that consumers can be hesitant to change, particularly when it affects how they connect with businesses,” says Stribling.  “But the fact is kiwi consumers are often at the forefront of technological change and IoT will be no different.

“We understand businesses are faced with challenges when it comes to knowing how to use new technology to improve outputs.

“The innovation in the space is being shaped by forward thinking and entrepreneurship and any of our IoT partners are smart kiwi technology start-ups working to change the way businesses operate by collecting data on IoT sensors, and analysing this data to create insights for their customers.”

But Stribling contends you don’t have to be a tech expert to make the most of the Internet of Things, you just need to be tech aware.  “The first step is understanding the importance of this technology and how it will evolve the way we interact with consumers for the better. There is a huge support system out there for kiwi businesses, it’s simply a matter of taking the leap of faith,” he says.

Last June, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released a study funded by technology companies, about the economic value of using IoT.

It estimated the economy could benefit by between $1.1 billion and $3.3b over 10 years from hooking up more ‘things’ to the internet.

Spark Lab is encouraging businesses to visit their website to find their digital edge through inspirational content, digital tools, and practical advice. Visit http://www.sparklab.co.nz/.

¹ New Zealand IoT Alliance research The Internet of Things – Accelerating a Connected New Zealand