Digital and tech among solutions to business resilience

Technology, digital skills and access are some of the key aspects helping businesses continue to operate in the post-COVID world, according to 2degrees’ latest Shaping Business Study.

The research, conducted by an external provider and carried out in September with approximately 1,000 business decision makers around Aotearoa, found that for businesses slowly getting back on track after major disruptions to their work, technology is a key enabler.

35 per cent of those businesses identified flexibility to work from home as important to getting back on track, with over a quarter (26 per cent) identifying improved digital skills and access, and one in five (20 per cent) saying that it was better technology.

Andrew Fairgray, Chief Business Officer at 2degrees, says the research shows that every business needs strong digital capabilities to weather the changing landscape.

“In 2021, every business is a technology company, in some way,” says Andrew. “Technology has played a role in nearly every business’s ability to continue through the ongoing disruption of the past 18 months, and it will continue to as the environment changes.”

When asked about the things they had done to put their business in a better position since the 2020 lockdowns, 2degrees found that 15 per cent of businesses had invested in communication technology, while 17 per cent had invested in computers and equipment for employees to use at home, 17 per cent had trained staff with new digital skills. When asked about the August 2021 lockdown, nearly one in 10 (9 per cent) wished they had invested more in digital training.

Technology and digital upskilling also play a key part in businesses’ future plans. Of business leaders planning to increase investment in their business in the next year, 35 per cent were planning to invest in digital upskilling. 

Andrew adds the research shows just how important it is that all businesses have a good digital strategy and keep their technology up to date.

“The data is clear; digital skills and technology are critical enablers for navigating the business environment in 2021. What is worrying is that 37% of businesses who don’t believe they have the digital skills to get ahead claim it is due to the lack of motivation and having other priorities they need to focus on. Knowing the impact technology is having on business stability, this figure is concerningly high. That’s why we’re committed to providing fairer access to technology and digital skills at 2degrees, for businesses of all sizes.”