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How Born Digital is enabling businesses to be more high-tech than ever before

Every business these days has to think and act like a tech company. But thanks to companies like Born Digital, that tech can be harnessed in ever-more-innovative ways to help businesses grow.

Let’s say you have a business, and your business needs a website. But not really a website – what you really need is tech that can help you focus on what your business is about, and allows you to focus on your business, rather than the management of it.

Or think about it like this: if your business is a fancy car, you still can’t drive it around without wrecking it unless there’s a road. And in that sense, one could think of Auckland-based Born Digital as a company that helps build those roads for businesses.

Managing director Brett Hancock says Born Digital works with businesses to create a variety of tech solutions to allow them to focus on their core services or products. “Our first cloud based software app was in 2009, for Odd Management, who are a talent management company,” he says. “Using the same tools that we use to build websites, we created a system that let the talent managers filter their database for the right matches for a client brief, then drag and drop the chosen photos onto a casting email back to the client. It was pretty cutting-edge at the time.”

Hancock says the staff has grown from just two people to 17 today. Born Digital also runs no fewer than 22 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications – which means they can help businesses assist customers at a far greater level than the old school ‘contact us’ forms on websites.

There are a few projects Born Digital is working on that Hancock is especially proud of. “We are developing a paperless SaaS-based app for any New Zealand-based commercial boat operators to enable them to stay compliant with the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) standards,” he says. “What is great about this project, is that the profits are being used to support a very worthy charity – Sea Cleaners, who clean up our harbours.”

There’s more, too. “We have also been developing a web-based tool for a US construction company to manage all their projects and staff time and costs. The owners of the app are considering commercialising the IP so that other similar businesses can use it.

 “We are also about to launch a web-based management coaching platform that guides coaches through a proven methodology to get results from staff.”

But why cloud-based applications, instead of just the aforementioned website-building?

Hancock says businesses have changed – and that, essentially, everyone is a tech company nowadays.

“When cloud based software first got started, you would go to a large IT firm and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your enterprise solution,” says Hancock. “Cloud-based apps are a logical progression for experienced website developers, because they combine agile software development with strong usability, user experience and UI design, most of these are overlooked by the big IT companies.”

Hancock believes businesses are also savvier than they ever have been when it comes to understanding tech – which has translated into an interesting growth model for Born Digital.

“The volume of cloud-based software projects has been slowly increasing despite no real attempt from us to get that kind of work,” Hancock says.

But he suspects there’s a reason they keep getting asked to help. “It’s symptomatic of the evolution of client needs. The size and technical complexity of projects has evolved.”

But thankfully – going back to that first analogy – it would seem as the tech in cars has gotten fancier, so too has the tech for the roads that they are driving on.

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