New Zealanders are born innovators, we have a national psyche that loves to disrupt, find new ways to do things and punch above our weight on the world stage.
From Richard Pease’s pioneering work in aviation, to Weta Digital’s industry dominance and Rocket Lab’s history-making satellite launches, technology has always been pivotal to the Kiwi spirit of innovation.
Today, digital innovation and disruption isn’t only the domain of large businesses like Xero, but also newcomers like Sharesies. In the wake of COVID-19, it’s never been more important for small and medium business owners to think differently and use digital and connective technology to innovate so they can survive and thrive in our post-pandemic world.
As part of Techweek 2021, Chorus (in partnership with Digital Journey) is running a series of physical and virtual interactive workshops designed to show SMEs how they can use digital technology to innovate — increasing productivity, growing sales and futureproofing their enterprise at the same time.
Digital transformation and innovation doesn’t need to mean radical change (although it can!). For most SMEs it’s about augmenting what they already offer.
Consumers want (and expect) to be able to connect digitally. At the same time, SMEs can recognise considerable benefits through digital innovation; lower overheads, reduced security risks, increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
There is a huge opportunity for New Zealand businesses to embrace technology and redefine what ‘Business As Usual’ means to them. Chorus’s Techweek workshops are about demonstrating what that might look like.
For example, alternative sales channels can be quickly and cost effectively built via websites and apps.
During the coronavirus pandemic, cloud computing enabled global supply chain continuity and remote working and quite literally kept the world’s economy moving. Chorus’s Techweek workshops will show SMEs that any sized business in any industry can innovate using sophisticated cloud-based tools. CRM, marketing functionality, telephony services and communications platforms that were once cost prohibitive can now be accessed via pay-as-you-go subscriptions and used to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Video conferencing — improved and more commonplace thanks to the pandemic — offers more opportunities for SMEs to innovate. From decentralising workplaces (while still maintaining collaboration between colleagues) to offering virtual appointments and classes to engage with new and existing customers in different ways.
Other small businesses can use technology to coordinate with third parties and expand their offering — for example, cafes and restaurants are partnering with food delivery aps and exponentially increasing the size of their potential market.
During Techweek, Chorus will bring together experts to workshop solutions to help digitally turbo-charge any business. They will highlight best practice tools and online technology, and help attendees build their own customised action plan.
Digital Journey, a social enterprise with over a decade’s experience in the digital education space, will share data that will allow attendees to benchmark their own digital progress with what’s happening in the wider market.
Around the globe rapid digital transformation has taken place over the past five years. In 2016 the global datasphere was estimated to be around 18 zetabytes, in 2021 that figure has more than tripled to more than 70 zetabytes, with cloud services and the rise in videoconferencing fuelling the growth.
Here in New Zealand we are seeing a similar boom. Around a third of Kiwi businesses have undertaken some form of digital transformation. Chorus is committed to helping grow that figure over the coming months and years now that access to ultra-fast broadband via fibre is the norm throughout the country.
The Chorus Techweek workshops are a great first step for businesses wanting to join the digital revolution and continue our nation’s proud history of innovation. We encourage businesses from all sectors to get involved.
Article by Ed Hyde, Chief Customer Officer.
Chorus is a Festival Partner of Techweek 2021.
 46 percent of employees report being somewhat or significantly more productive when working from home
 pre lockdown 33 percent of employees regularly used video conferencing, post lockdown 95 percent of employees say they do it at least once a week