With many small and medium Kiwi businesses facing cash-flow challenges and wanting to adapt to the new COVID-19 operating environment, service provider OneHQ is offering a new option.
Director Hamish McLachlan said the company's "tech-as-a-service" package is a new financial product which bundles hardware, software and services flexibly into a single subscription price.
“Auckland’s move to alert level three recently brought home the realisation that the Covid-19 disruption isn’t a once-off, and as a result, there has been a strong shift in focus to building resilience through technology," McLachlan said.
Cost, however, remained a barrier.
“We know that banks won’t finance hardware, software and IT projects. It’s an essential need for SMEs, but funders won’t go near it," Lachlan said.
As a consequence, New Zealand businesses were "immature" in how they leverage technology and COVID-19 had caught them napping.
Many small and medium business owners had a rude awakening at the last level 4 lockdown because they still relied on old technology solutions such as the office-based server, he said.
"I’d estimate half of Kiwi SMEs are in that boat.”
Tech-as-a-service allows customers can scale up or down throughout their subscription term, allowing them to adjust to changing business conditions, McLachlan said.
"It’s the kind of financial product that SMEs need to help them operate in a Covid-19 world," he said.
“The lump-sum nature of technology costs has long been a barrier to progress, and as a result, we’ve lagged behind the OECD in staying at the cutting edge of technology solutions for business.”
Many businesses were between a rock and a hard place, McLachlan said.
“Lower sales and even tighter cashflows coupled to an imperative to re-engineer for resilience have left many wondering where to turn.
Tech-as-a-service helps businesses tap into the latest technology, services, skills and software by spreading out the lumpy costs through a subscription service."
For SMEs that are hindered by cashflow issues but need to build resilience into their business, McLachlan offered the following advice:
1. Build consensus
Get the key members of your team to agree on the pain points that are holding you back and determine the common areas of change that will have the most impact.
Develop a plan that utilises the right combination of technology, process and people changes to support your goals.
3. Spread it out
Change is better done in small steps towards the end goal.