New Zealand failing to keep up with world on digital performance - report

  • 07/06/2022
New Zealand's digital performance isn't great
Kiwi companies are facing shortages in hardware and skilled workers Photo credit: Getty Images


New Zealand is at a "tech tipping point" and is failing to keep up with the rest of the world on digital performance, according to a new report.

The report by the Technology Users Association (TUANZ) shows New Zealand is ranked 42nd in the world for overall access to technology and 56th on cyber security, with Scandinavian countries and Singapore among the leaders.

The report said New Zealand fared worse in other areas like high tech exports.

It said New Zealand companies are facing shortages in hardware, tech products and digitally skilled workers.

The report said current technical resources were stretched, with industry leaders facing challenges due to skills gaps, retention of staff and attracting staff.

TUANZ chief executive Craig Young said New Zealand was doing work to improve the sector, but it was a case of other countries doing things better.

"We have stood still when it comes to our digital capacity or capability. That's not to say the investments we made weren't worth it and we weren't actually doing some very good stuff, it's just that everybody else ahead of us has done more.

"The other key thing [concerning tech leaders is] the resilience of the supply chain."

Young said "unleashing digital transformation" in the non-tech sector could add $46 billion to the country's gross domestic product by 2030.

"New Zealand must find ways to bring new skills into the industry or risk an ongoing brake on the aspirations of our companies to compete in this increasingly digital world.

"While we will always need to bring skills in from offshore, our companies and government also need to be aligned in developing homegrown talent, especially in under-represented groups such as women, Māori and Pasifika," he said.

Vodafone NZ chief enterprise officer Lindsay Zwart said a focus on new tech could help overcome the issues.

"Business leaders are being affected by talent shortages and supply chain delays but can drive efficiencies by using cloud and software as a service based services which reduce reliance on in-country resources and hardware," Zwart said.