EXCLUSIVE: Oracle explains… How New Zealand is working towards a digital future

"New Zealand is traditionally ahead of the curve and in my opinion, digital models that are gaining traction revolve around the cloud."

New Zealand is known for early adoption and innovation, so it’s not surprising that the majority of businesses here are well versed in technologies that are driving the move towards digitalisation.

The cloud in particular is one technology that has been instrumental in the shift.

In fact, a recent IDC survey found that 79 percent of New Zealand companies are already using between two to five cloud services, driven primarily by the desire to cut IT costs and avoid investment in owning their own infrastructure.

Another interesting finding from the IDC research highlighted what makes cloud take-up in New Zealand distinct from the rest of APAC: the alignment of people and processes to making the appropriate decisions regarding what cloud is best for what need.

This matches with what we are seeing from the market in terms of the different departments within local businesses seeking out cloud solutions specific to their business requirement.

Mobility is also instrumental as we move towards a digital future. Consumers are demanding we rise to meet their expectations, and employees expect to use their devices everywhere, at any time.

Mobility is the gateway to helping organisations work both smarter and faster, and enables deeper connections with customers. In order for mobility to be leveraged successfully, it must be thought of as a long-term goal, rather than a short-term challenge.

New Zealand is really embracing this mentality, and we are seeing great business outcomes as a result.

Will digital businesses replace workers with robots?

This is an interesting one – this concept has been discussed for the past twenty years, and I’ve yet to see it come to fruition.

Having said that, yes, there are certain areas, especially in industries like manufacturing and mining where robotic automation is coming ahead in leaps and bounds, in part driven by the adoption of sensors and the Internet of Things.

We are seeing more of, rather than robotic automation, is the automation of business process, for example in the areas of payments in banking. We are also starting to see the application of machine learning in areas like analytics and financial forecasting.

But in my opinion, there will always be a place for the human element. That is not to say that we won’t see a shift in the types of jobs available and skills required.

What are the standout players in the smart machine market?

The real question here is how are we using the data that is being generated by the smart machine market?

The real star here is not in the collection of data, but how it is being analysed to produce meaningful insights for areas of our lives that up until recently, have not been digitalised.

The automotive industry for instance is using the data in a pre-emptive, diagnostic manner. The data collected from the car is analysed for early detection of issues, which is then communicated directly to the manufacturer to minimise potential damage.

When data analytics can be used to in real-life situations like this, it must be considered a success.

What digital models are being adopted across the industry?

New Zealand is traditionally ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technologies. In my opinion, digital models that are gaining traction revolve around the cloud.

We are no longer asking if businesses are adopting the cloud, but now we are further down the track, the question is, how they are using the cloud and what flavours of the cloud are they finding is the right fit to serve their needs.

Will a shift to digitalisation create security consequences for organisations?

Absolutely. The more digital borders exposed, the greater the threat. Unfortunately, New Zealand is seen as a soft target to hackers.

What this means is that it’s instrumental for local businesses to have a strong security strategy in place. A holistic plan that covers all possible areas that require protection.

More digital enablement means more data and more systems, and from an enterprise perspective, this means more ‘doors and windows’ into those systems that organisations need to worry about securing.

The critical thing then is to ensure the systems are built with a security first mindset, and that it is not applied as an after thought.

The thing is, if someone didn’t get the application security right, if the code isn’t secure, if the app wasn’t created with in-built security right from the start versus it being added on at the end then it can open up risks.

It could expose you to man in the middle attacks where someone exploits flaws in your cloud or network.

As a smart start-up in New Zealand - who should you partner with?

When it comes to choosing the right partner, the best piece of advice I can offer is to clearly map out your goals, then choose a partner who will help you meet them in a timely and efficient manner.

By Rob Erskine, Sales Director - Fusion Middleware, Oracle New Zealand

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