On the wind down to the festive season, it’s often difficult to find the time to look at making strategic business decisions.

For many Kiwi business managers and owners, things like growth, scalability, better processes and greater security will be top of mind – which is why understanding the role technology plays is more critical than ever.

Current technology trends in Kiwi businesses

Darren Oxlee is the Small and Medium Business Customer Program Manager for Microsoft New Zealand and has seen two key themes emerging amongst businesses: the first being a large migration to Cloud-based technologies and secondly, more businesses are starting to leverage deeper insights into their operational processes because of advanced data tools.

“The reasons for these trends would be that the Cloud is easily accessible to so many more organisations and the affordability of the technology allows businesses of any size to make the move. Security is also unquestionably more robust with a properly implemented Cloud-based system,” says Oxlee.

“There have also been significant advances when it comes to insights. Although it is still early in the maturity cycle, new technologies such as PowerBI, Power Apps, Flow, advanced analytics, Machine Learning and others (which are becoming more readily available) are providing businesses with a greater understanding of their data.

Ensuring your business isn’t left behind

With all the technologies available, it can be confusing to understand where to correctly invest time and money – but there is little benefit gained from analysis paralysis. And Oxlee’s recommendation is to ensure your business remains competitive in its marketplace by migrating on-premise workloads, where appropriate, into the Cloud.

“This will help to optimise costs, reduce risk and creates business value by shifting the focus away from worrying about running the infrastructure to actually seeing more opportunities for growth and scalability through using advanced technology workloads.

“By this, I mean concentrating efforts on all the capabilities available in many Cloud-based solutions in order to have them work better for your business and what you want to achieve.

“It’s about understanding how to use these technologies to have a more dynamic offering overall.”

Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond

As we move into not only the start of a new year but a new decade, Oxlee reiterates the need for technology to be seen as an enabler for Kiwi businesses. He says there is a host of value-add solutions for any size organisation and it’s about adopting a strategic approach in terms of how that technology can be integrated efficiently and effectively.

“There are definite gains to be made by implementing Cloud services such as Microsoft 365 and Azure-based technologies.

“These offer far greater value than traditional on-premise solutions and provide accessibility to a myriad of solutions that were not previously available to small and medium-sized businesses. They are key differentiators and most certainly sources of gaining a competitive advantage.”

Oxlee also notes that you need to make sure you are working with the right partner who will not only provide the best technology but will also guide you on how to appropriately implement it into your business.

“You don’t have to have everything on offer, but if you simply focus on what will be impactful for your business, there is no doubt you’ll be able to operate in a more agile, structured way.”The next step: Want your IT systems to work better for you in the year ahead? Get an audit of your current set-up and find out if there are solutions that could allow your business to be more agile while improving security.

Get started by finding a Microsoft solution provider near you to assist with an IT audit.

If you’d like to learn more about how a move to Cloud-based solutions can help your business check out our Cloud Migrations eBook.