Welcome to The Pivot Pod, where we'll figure out together what's next for small business. Hosted by Frances Cook, with a new expert on each episode. Today it's how tech is poised to become a major force in the New Zealand business scene.
After the battering businesses suffered from Covid-19, some are pointing to the technology and software sector as the next hero of our economy.
While we may not see ourselves as a nation of coders, Buy New Zealand Made executive director Ryan Jennings believes we're pretty much there already.
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On The Pivot Pod, Jennings said he believed in it so strongly that they were launching a New Zealand Code brand.
It's only the third brand for their campaign, which launched Buy New Zealand Made in 1988, and New Zealand Grown in 2007.
"Given where we're at with Covid, this could be the way out from some of the loss in revenue in tourism and international students."
He said New Zealand was now seen as a country that had beaten back Covid-19, partly thanks to the use of technology and scientific solutions.
So there was an opportunity to show the rest of the world what we were capable of, while they were still paying attention.
"It also provides a purpose for businesses or consumers who are concerned about, 'well what happens to my data, where is this code made, what happens to my information?
"There are privacy act changes coming up at the end of 2020, which specifically says if you're going to take someone's data out of the country you have to notify them about that.
"So companies that look after anti-money laundering legislation, or identity matching can use New Zealand Code to say hey we make our code here, and we look after your data within the New Zealand regulatory environment."
Jennings pointed out software services were worth $7.9 billion in export revenue for 2019.
Figures from Stats NZ shows software and services exports leaped 47 per cent between 2017 and 2019.
At that rate, Jennings said it could be our number one export earner in the next three years.
Moving to the digital space offers many benefits, not least that we're less hamstrung by our physical distance from other countries.
New Zealand has the benefit of a well-educated population, that can learn new skills quickly.
Jennings said it was also to our benefit that we're a relatively small country with diverse needs.
Any software being trialled here has to work in a wide range of situations, so by the time it's ready to go international, there's a big potential audience.
"Some organisations I've spoken to just specialise in integrating with existing software services.
"Once they've done that for New Zealand DHBs for example, they can then work with any hospital around the world, because they've already integrated into the four key platforms that New Zealand DHBs use.
"So although we're quite small, the things we do here can scale to the rest of the planet. Therefore it's a very large revenue opportunity for our country."
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