Technology investment and adoption is a top focus for New Zealand firms post-COVID-19, according to new research from Plantronics.
Data security, cloud collaboration and videoconferencing are now the top tech priorities for Kiwi companies as they emerge from the pandemic, the report says.
To support remote working, over half of NZ organisations (53%) implemented VPN infrastructure with 46% rolling out collaboration software, and 41% making changes to data protection and compliance procedures. Managing larger, disparate fleets of devices has in turn led to increased helpdesk function (29%), with one in ten companies actually hiring more IT staff.
Due to COVID-19, 44% of firms were forced to refocus their Digital Transformation initiatives, with 36% having to start or accelerate initiatives. 17% had to put them on hold.
“One of the main areas that businesses struggled with in the pandemic was the scale or capacity of existing IT solutions: this was a top challenge for companies in New Zealand,” says Andy Hurt, managing director, ANZ, Poly.
“Not having the relevant technology solutions, IT skills and support from technology partners were also significant issues,” he says.
“Going forward, nearly half of organisations (46%) expect increased used of technologies for employee experience, and over half (56%) anticipate increased use of collaborative platforms and tools.”
Hurt says businesses now have an opportunity to challenge current thinking and shape a new future of work.
“Beyond the pandemic, we believe the next normal will be all about hybrid working flexible working across multiple locations, with immersive, productive workspaces that accommodate the workstyle of every employee,” he explains.
Going forward, the biggest retained change for NZ businesses will be the increased use of digital technologies for customer experience (64%), followed by increased use of collaboration platforms and tools (56% – the highest result in the region). Process automation, employee experience and using digital technologies for product development and delivery are other enhancements that look set to stay.
When it comes to IT budget spend, the migration to cloud is more critical than ever, with other new trends such as desktop-as-a service also making inroads. Data security, Cloud CRM and Cloud HR are other areas of increased investment.
With hybrid working here to stay, 69% of NZ companies will continue to invest heavily in conferencing devices and headsets until 2021, the highest in the region.
“The face-to-face dynamic of video has proven to be engaging with employees working from home, employees on field, external suppliers, and customers,” says Hurt.
“While physical interactions are still important, the pandemic proved how effective remote communication and collaboration can be.”
He says for hybrid working to be successful, remote workers need to be supplied with the right technology and given appropriate support.
“This means deploying professional grade conferencing devices, security solutions, collaboration platforms and HR policies that ensure those working remotely don’t end up “second tier”.
“With virtual meetings replacing face-to-face – something that many organisations predict – audio and video quality become paramount,” says Hurt.