Digital Journey helping businesses infuse $34b into NZ economy

New Zealand is tiny compared to the rest of the world. We have a little under 4.5 million people within our shores, and an average-sized city in the US, like Greater Boston, has over 4.5 million inhabitants.

At the same time, we’re the second best country in the world to start a business, according to The World Bank. That’s why the internet is so important to our economy.

To put a figure on it, Innovation Partnership recently released a report stating that Kiwi businesses could add $34 billion to the New Zealand economy if they made more use of the Internet. Most of us have an online presence, tight integration with social media, and regularly checked email accounts, but how efficient is your current digital setup? The answer might surprise you if you take the free Digital Journey test to see how well your business is utilising the internet.

New Zealand Entrepreneurs is an online publisher – we live, eat, and sleep on the internet – and we even found a few areas that needed attention.

[Tweet “How good is your business’s internet score? Use this free tool to find out #digitaljourney”]

“The internet can transform how a business operates,” said Stuart Dillon-Roberts, who has spent the past 6 months devoting all of his time to the Digital Office’s latest project, Digital Journey.

“We have a world-class communications network being built across the country allowing businesses to connect to the internet at speeds not seen before. The opportunity is there for our business community to use the internet to connect with customers worldwide, use internet-based services to reduce operational costs, increase productivity, enhance communications, and be capable of transferring large files.”

There are many obvious beneficiaries of internet use, like offices and online retailers, but in reality, most businesses can benefit in someway or another from having a solid online presence.

For a bakery, the opportunity could be to have its sales and stock information accessible 24 hours a day from a mobile phone or tablet, or it could be having a website that promoted its products to increase sales, or increased social media use to attract new customers, Stuart said.

Your local farmer could let you know via social media if he’s going to be at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, and what will be on sale.

Even the local plumber can use SEO to be in the top page of Google when you’re searching for someone to fix the broken pipe that’s gushing water at 3 am in the morning.

[Tweet “Report says that Kiwi businesses could infuse $34b into NZ economy through internet use.”]

Stuart said the opportunities are there, and the Digital Journey assessment has been designed to assist businesses with this journey and increase their use of the internet.

Digital Journey was built by Dunedin-based developer Firebrand as a result of a Digital Office and .NZ partnership. Numerous other companies, like Google and Internet NZ, have been involved with the bringing the project to fruition.

“We decided we needed an online assessment that would be informative, easy to use, and helpful for businesses to understand what options they have to go online and the services they may wish to use,” said Stuart.

Both organisations have spent considerable time and resources on the project, and hope that New Zealand businesses will go online and use the tools and services they have created.

“We want to help Kiwi business owners be more productive, connect to new customers, grow their business, and take the steps needed for New Zealand to achieve the $34 billion productivity gains highlighted by the research,” Stuart told us. “We have produced this service as we believe this is critical for New Zealand to compete in this increasingly digital and online environment.”

“The website’s only been up a few days,” Josh Jenkins, Project Manager at Digital Office, said, “and so far over 100 people have completed assessments. It’s very encouraging, and it’s only going to go up from here.”

Curious to what your score is? Of course you are. Use any of your devices to go to www.digitaljourney.co.nz and fill out the questions. The test took us less than 10 minutes to complete when we tried it.

“Its free of charge and we’re confident that the Action Plan produced will help every business in NZ,  large and small, across every sector,” Stuart said.

If you would like to find out more about Digital Journey or find out how you can help support it, please contact Stuart Dillon-Roberts directly at stuart@digitaloffice.co.nz.

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