According to a survey commissioned by accounting software firm MYOB and conducted by Colmar Brunton, New Zealand firms are slow adopters of technology. A newspaper article which summarises the research report was published today. The report contains statistics about the digital world, including cloud-computing uptake and website presence. The article suggests that NZ businesses are "off the pace", and goes on to imply that the NZ economy is weaker as a result of slow technology adoption.
Gosh, this is heady stuff. The Internet has changed the way we live and work, and no doubt will continue to do so. But to say that an economy is weaker because uptake of the latest iterations of computing capability is slow is a big call. Businesses need to get clear about their motivations and choices. I know many SME firms that operate well (ie. very profitably) using so-called legacy computing systems. They have not embraced cloud computing (for example) because the financials and or security risks simply do not stack up for them.
Finding new and more efficient ways of doing things is an important element in the business mix. In fact, the pursuit of sustained competitive advantage demands that we continue this quest. However, jumping on-board with a new development because everyone else is seemingly doing so is not a sufficient justification. We need to be careful to avoid the trap of seeing all innovations as panaceas. We have much to learn from history in this regard. While some innovations will prevail, many of today's so-called innovations will be re-labeled as "fads" in the future, just as we have re-labeled earlier developments. Let's keep our eyes open and our brain engaged when looking at new innovations. I suspect the economy will be better for it.
*Declaration. I happily use a mix of cloud- and local-computing tools on a daily basis.
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