2017 was another tremendous year of progress for the New Zealand digital tech sector – a fact supported by the OECD's annual Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard.
Towards the end of 2016, New Zealand's broadband penetration reached over 100 per cent (with an average 101 subscriptions per 100 New Zealanders), and investment in research and development for business innovation rose by 28 per cent1. These figures point to a nation with a strong backing for digital evolution, a trend which will hopefully continue in a vibrant IT sector in 2018. Let's take a look at the three things we learnt about New Zealand's technological landscape in 2017.
The nation's broadband penetration reached 101 per cent, and investment in business innovation development rose by 28 per cent.
1. The digital tech and IT sector are growing
New Zealand made a net employment gain of over 200,000 between 2010 and 2015, with a large proportion of this devoted to the information and communication sector2. This now contributes over $16 billion NZD to the national GDP and employees nearly 100,000 people nationwide3.
The growth of digital technology has been immense, with businesses like Xerox and Kiwa Digital now taking their offerings to a world stage. This growth spanned a number of industries – but all had Kiwi innovation and development at their core.
2. There are more people engaging with digital tech
New Zealand ranked fifth in the world for the category 'adult problem solving in a technology-rich environment', while the average New Zealander spent more than 47 hours a week engaged with an online device4. This digitally-inclined population is backed by statistics indicating 33 per cent of government budgetary allocations for research were focused on advancing knowledge digitally5.
Kiwis are often early adopters of technology and are open to embracing the digital. New Zealand was one of the earliest countries to test Eftpos payment systems, while businesses like Rocket Lab are helping to establish the nation's reputation as international innovators in space technology.
The average New Zealander spent more than 47 hours a week engaged with an online device.
3. Kiwis are linking themselves to the world
New Zealanders are becoming excellent partners in IT development on the world stage – in 2015, more than 31 per cent of all patent applications for digital technology in New Zealand were made in partnership with an international operation6.
Continued development links with other economies (such as Air New Zealand's recent decision to trial their AI technology in the US) means New Zealanders can close the country's geographic distance and bring their technology to the world.
New Zealand's IT and digital technology sector experienced another year of steady growth, with signs for 2018 encouraging for a strong employment market.
For more insights, contact the 920 team today.
1– OECD Digital Scoreboard 2017 (New Zealand)
2– OECD Digital Scoreboard 2017 (New Zealand)
3– Ministry of Business report
4– Ministry of Business report
5– OECD Digital Scoreboard 2017 (New Zealand)
6– OECD Digital Scoreboard 2017 (New Zealand)