Drones and Artificial Intelligence Driving Businesses

Drones and Artificial Intelligence Driving New Zealand Businesses Article Image

Australian and New Zealand businesses are stepping up their game as an increasing number of companies continue to look at next-generation technology such as drones, automation and AI to grow and manage costs.

New Zealand businesses are increasing their acquisition of Industry 4.0 assets such as big data, artificial intelligence and drones, according to the latest Alleasing Equipment Demand Index.

A national average of 44.8 per cent of all businesses plan to add assets during the September quarter 2017, with 13.4 per cent of those stating they intend to acquire assets such as big data, artificial intelligence and drones, up from 7.9 per cent in the March quarter of this year.

Larger businesses are the most ambitious, with 20.0 per cent of upper corporate businesses looking to invest in this area against 4.5 per cent of SMEs.

“Larger businesses appear to be leading the charge towards next generation technology,” said Daniel Blizzard, chief executive of Alleasing.

“Industry 4.0 technology will have a positive effect on the wider economy, transforming businesses across the spectrum from health to agriculture. There has never been such an abundance of cutting-edge technology available, making this an ideal time to make the most of what is available to build an agile business.”

New and innovative technology is in strong demand across all industries, including services (including healthcare) and agriculture.

Of the businesses who are actively looking to invest in this type of technology, 40.4 per cent indicate that business growth will be the primary benefit, while 35.8 per cent cite the ability to develop new products.

“Technology can enable transformation, but its most important attribute is in controlling and limiting cost,” said Alleasing’s Daniel Blizzard.

“Business sentiment across New Zealand is currently positive, however, this could change. Implementing new technology now to help manage costs will help businesses to grow, remain competitive and mitigate any economic challenges in the future.”

The latest Index research also found some significant variances between regions and industries.

Of the regions, Auckland is the most bullish, with 47.8 per cent of businesses planning to increase their asset base. Whereas in Christchurch, only 39.3 per cent of businesses are looking to acquire assets, the first time in the 2017 calendar year that this figure has fallen below 40.0 per cent. This could be an indicator that Christchurch businesses have already bought the majority of equipment they need to rebuild or replace damaged assets and are now scaling back on expenditure.

“The reconstruction effort in Christchurch is well advanced but it appears that the economic life of the city’s businesses will take longer to recover,” said Daniel Blizzard.

“For Christchurch, reconstruction is not recovery, and once the city has completed at least the majority of its reconstruction, regular business trade will still need to be established to ensure economic security.

“However, Christchurch Airport’s recent deal with Alibaba to establish Alipay as a payment platform at the airport has the potential to generate $1 million a week in sales from Chinese tourists visiting the island. This could greatly expedite Christchurch’s recovery and boost the local economy.”

An analysis of industries also re-enforces the “New Zealand, new economy” theme, with one in two businesses in the services sector intending to add assets during the September quarter, contrasting with 36.3 percent in retail, which was the lowest result for this report.

“The Index shows that while the outlook for the New Zealand economy is positive, it is also uneven,” said Daniel Blizzard.

“We can clearly see old economy industries, such as retail, struggling, while services and tourism are growing. These industries are also on a transformation path through the acquisition of new technology assets.

“This new technology story also extends to a traditional industry such as agriculture, which is an enthusiastic adopter as it becomes more efficient, scale driven, and more export-focused.”

Further information

Maia Financial is a leading, independent provider of capital solutions. We specialise in Asset Finance, Asset Management and Vendor and Intermediary services. Established more than 25 years ago, we have financed billions of dollars’ worth of assets, supporting the capital needs across various sectors (including mining, healthcare, manufacturing, agribusiness) and government entitles across Australia and New Zealand.

NB. The research and publication of the Equipment Demand Index was conducted under Maia Financial’s previous name, Alleasing.