Tech-driven, native enterprise growth up since pandemic – Accenture

Businessman hand working on laptop computer with digital shift business strategy and social media chart on wooden desk

The pandemic has likely changed the mode and operation of most businesses around the world.

Photo: 123RF

New Zealand branch of global management consultancy Accenture said local businesses should consider how big changes in the business landscape could be implemented locally.

Managing Director Ben Morgan said growth was increasingly being found in unknown sectors as travel restrictions forced companies to focus on existing locations rather than expanding into new ones.

“International travel restrictions have changed that trend and we are now seeing large corporations taking over companies in unfamiliar industries to continue their expansion,” said Morgan.

He said global corporations spent 67 percent of their merger and acquisition budget on geographic expansion in 2015, compared to 16 percent now.

“As New Zealand and the world open up, it remains to be seen whether cross-border expansion will continue at pre-pandemic levels or whether companies in their home markets will expand into other categories.”

Morgan said the wider adoption of e-commerce and reduced dealer footfall opened opportunities for online businesses like Wine Collective Direct, which connected boutique wineries with international consumers.

He said another lesson from the pandemic was the benefit of partnering with complementary companies.

“Business partnerships are not new, but we can expect this trend to grow in the post-Covid world landscape,” he said, adding that 60 percent of executives sought to drive growth through ecosystems.

“Much of the success of these ecosystems will come from the technology that connects each company and the ability for customers to receive service and support from each of the partners.”

According to Morgan, recent research has also found that companies that have successfully used data and artificial intelligence have achieved nearly three times their return on investment.

“New Zealand is a leader in smart, data-driven technology,” he said, adding that Coca-Cola’s smart vending machines, invented in Masterton in 2015, have been rolled out across much of the world.

“We can expect that data will play an even bigger role in the post-Covid world.”

Morgan said consumers are also looking for ethical goods and services, which is a major trend for businesses.

“This is especially true for smaller luxury items like perfumes and make-up.

“Consumers may be more cautious about their spending, but they still want to be able to support brands that support environmental and social programs that help communities and the planet.”