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Kiwi businesses expect to grow in 2024

Technology business Datacom revealed in a new survey that businesses in New Zealand are optimistic about 2024 and expect the sector to continue to grow.

With the new government in action, Datacom commissioned a survey interviewing senior managers and executives to see what they are expecting 2024 and what they are planning to prioritise.

Around 200 senior business leaders with over 100 employees were surveyed by Datacom, with growth considered a top business priority for 35 percent of respondents.

This was followed by staff retention and recruitment at 24 percent and workplace productivity at 19 percent.

Datacom believes that these priorities come after a period of labour shortages, slowing productivity and a flat GDP growth.

Heading into the new year, many respondents say that 2024 would present a greater opportunity for Kiwi businesses at 71 percent.

Sixty-five percent believe that the sector or industry would be championed by “better support”.

Datacom says CEOs come out as the most optimistic group in the survey, with 93 percent expressing confidence in the new government.

However, for many businesses, growth will emerge with the right tools in place set for future opportunities.

“The ability to look beyond today and anticipate future customer needs and demands is a big focus for Datacom and we’re working with many of our own customers to help them do the same. Being able to anticipate how technology and market changes will impact your business and your sector helps you better identify risks and opportunities and set the direction for your business,” says Justin Gray, Managing Director of Datacom New Zealand.

Read more: VeVe crowned fastest growing company in NZ by Deloitte

“It was concerning to see customer experience falling so low in business priorities (6 percent) but notable that this jumped back up to 18 percent among c-suite respondents. We all know it is important but when the focus turns to growth and bottom-lines, customer experience can get overlooked. In the medium to long-term a lack of focus on customer experience is going to be a handbrake for growth.”

The biggest opportunities that will come into play in 2024 are within the tech industry, he adds.

Justin Gray.

Thirty-three percent say data-driven insights will support decision making.

Other key tech trends that respondents are looking forward to in 2024 include 23 percent prioritising enablement tools and 20 percent looking at generative artificial intelligence (AI) and digital skills training.

“The focus on making greater use of data-driven insights and workforce enablement tools is a real positive and it is worth noting that AI and automation is likely to play a support role in the application of these technologies too,” adds Gray.

“We believe generative AI and automation is likely to be even more impactful and disruptive than companies are anticipating. This is an area where we believe government, tech and business leaders should come together to better understand the opportunities and how New Zealand can keep pace while avoiding the risks.”

Not only is tech vital in 2024 for businesses, hybrid work is expected to be implemented for growth.

Forty percent of respondents says they are supporting the work model.

“Whatever model companies choose – hybrid or not – the deciding factor for workplace productivity and creating positive experiences for both employees and customers comes down to having the right physical work environment and platforms and tools in place to make it easy to communicate, to interact with their wider team and to get the help they need, when they need it,” says Gray.

With all this, many Kiwi businesses are expected to be ramping up their work in 2024 with the help of technology says Datcom.

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