Two-thirds of NZ businesses waiting for disruption to happen

8th May, 2017

Nearly half of all NZ small businesses expect to see disruption in the next decade, but less than two-thirds are actively trying to take advantage of it.

MYOB’s latest Business Monitor research series has found that 44 percent of local business operators believe that the nature of their industry will change “significantly” within the next decade – and this change will be driven by technology.

Just 14 percent of respondents see no change in their industry over the next decade.

“With the advent of the information age, we’ve been living with the concept of constant change in business for more than two decades,” MYOB Chief Technical Advisor Simon Raik-Allen said.

“What they [businesses] may not be ready for is the next stage.

“Technology isn’t just about to disrupt certain industries. It’s poised to change the way we perceive and interact with the world.”

Raik-Allen’s insights are contained in a new report from MYOB, “The Age of Change”.

It explores how technology is set to change the lives of New Zealanders and radically shape several industries.

For example, just 35 percent of construction and trades business owners believe the nature of their industry is set to be significantly altered by technology in the next decade.

However, Raik-Allen says the seeds of that disruption are already being seen.

“We’re already seeing modular construction begin to transform the way homes are designed and built,” he said.

“It’s a short step from there to having 3D buildings printed right on site, or created and packaged at a single factory, and delivered by an autonomous vehicle before being assembled by robots.”

He also pointed to technology such as improved connectivity and cloud computing to machine learning as trends which could have a big impact in the next ten years – if not five.

Why businesses don’t see themselves as trendsetters

The new survey found that two-thirds of businesses are adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to innovation, which could be disastrous according to Raik-Allen.

“Few local businesses see themselves as early adopters or fast followers of newly introduced innovations – most tend to wait until they are widely adopted, putting themselves behind the curve,” he said.

However, it may not be a lack of ambition keeping NZ small businesses back but factors including costs, regulation and time.

In your opinion, what are the barriers your business faces when it comes to innovation?

Cost to develop or introduce 27%
Too much Government regulation 22%
Not enough time to innovate 19%
Shortage of skilled personnel 16%
Lack of Government support 13%
Lack of R&D funding 8%
No barriers affect my business when it comes to innovation 15%
My business does not require innovation 18%

Source: MYOB Business Monitor, April 2017

Raik-Allen said no matter what the future brought, all industries needed to have some kind of game plan to adapt.

“Even though the details of each disruption are – as yet – unknown, the best predictor for long-term success is the ability of a business operator to recognise the potential for change and move quickly to respond,” he said.


Want to know more about what the future may bring? You can download the Age of Change report from our NZ Business Monitor website.