Photo: Ian Christie
Kiwi businesses are having to substantially change how they operate with the rapid arrival of the digital age, a leading New Zealand business expert says.
Ian Christie, a former head of Saatchi and Saatchi New Zealand and a member of WPP's global leadership team in the UK, says it’s now a matter of survival now for New Zealand companies and organisations on how they change their modus operandi.
“Large or small, every part of all business operations has been touched by digitisation, says Christie, who is now chief executive of the software company Boma, in Auckland.
“It’s not just the customer being able to purchase goods and services online, but all through the supply chain, from raw material sourcing to manufacturing, to distribution and sales. No part of business is escaping the digital disruption.
“The good news is that this revolution is bringing down costs dramatically in some areas, but on the other side, is driving business owners to completely rethink about the way they interact with customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
“Making things accessible that previously cost a lot or required specialist skills will benefit the New Zealand public. That’s our aim is to make things better for Kiwis, through what we are good at.
“At Boma we harness this technology and thinking to provide high quality messages that previously one needed an agency or various experts to do for companies and organisations. Boma does the lot now.
“Changing the way we think in business, going forward, is the biggest challenge. In the past an owner had to think about being more efficient within a well-defined scope of operation. These days an owner can completely customise their operation based on any core dimension - geography, cost, speed to market, customer care. There are apps for all of that.
“We can and want to help businesses by simply and regularly communicating with their customer base without the time and expense of old-school type agencies. What companies are seeking to create in business this year must be unrivalled and unprecedented.
“Companies can now use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create something that was firstly very manual - even if created on a computer by someone - and who’s quality and impact was directly proportional to how much a business owner was spending.
“The big difference in 2018 is the removal of market barriers. They have gone. Digital software has provided the tools to create a business online. You no longer need to be huge to run a successful business you just need the right attitude. Customers now go to the web to search for a product or service online. To succeed, businesses need to be found, liked, shared and engaged with.”
Christie says he started Boma to give small to medium enterprises access to technology as a democratising force and the opportunity to harness that was too good to pass up.
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