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Rod Drury: NZTech report a beacon to future growth for IT sector

Divina Paredes | June 27, 2016
The founder and CEO of Xero has long believed there is a need for a clear technology plan unique to New Zealand, and a chief technology officer who can pull it off together across government and the private sector.

"Nowhere in the world and never in history has there been a better place to grow your business," Obama had stated. "The world is smaller than it used to be because of innovation, because of technology, because of globalisation, because of global markets."

"They were pitching that an international company should have the US as part of their strategy," says Drury.

"It is often business which is more borderless than countries, with MNCs (multinational corporations) working together with teams, and trading all over the world."

Drury says with the internet, together with innovation and research and development happening all over the world, the United States is very important for scaling up.

"It has the most access to capital and as part of building a global business the US is definitely a key part of your strategy, and bringing US people in your team really gets you thinking about scale and doing things large."

He says the panel also discussed the Internet of Things, and developments in the cloud.

"What is exciting now is that the cloud is moving to AI and machine learning," he says.

"The first generation was getting data into the cloud and now, over the next five years, it's building cloud-based applications where the servers are doing the work, telling you what you need to do next."

"We are working through our migration to AWS [Amazon Web Service's public cloud], we're now working on cleaning up and coding that data," he says. "Now it is relatively easy to do the next phase which is adding the artificial intelligence and machine learning to these massive data sets."

"Our focus now is making our software really smarter," he says.

Highlights of the Digital Nation New Zealand

While there is general agreement that technology is important to the New Zealand economy, until now there has been little research to confirm this, states NZTech CEO Graeme Muller on the significance of the report.

Graeme Muller - CEO, NZTech

Graeme Muller,CEO,NZTech

Using the OECD definition for ICT and high-tech manufacturing, the report established that in 2015, the tech sector consisted of 28,749 firms employing 5 per cent of the national workforce, or 98,911 people.

A further 20,154 tech workers are employed in other sectors.

On average, those employed by the sector are the highest paid and highest qualified of all sectors.

The tech sector's productivity has grown at an average of 1.7 per cent per annum for the past 15 years, compared to 0.7 per cent for the national economy over the same period.

But the sector delivers benefits beyond GDP, the report notes.

It points out many ICT services in widespread use are provided for free to consumers, and their benefits are not counted in market transactions.

 

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