Tech in the Bay - LIFTOUT June 2021

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From mid-2016 Bay of Plenty businesses have a new voice, Bay of Plenty Business News. This new publication reflects the region’s growth and importance as part of the wider central North Island economy.

June 2021 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS 9

Tech.IN THE

BAY

LIFTOUT

BBN’S GUIDE TO TECHNOLOGY AND

INNOVATION IN THE BAY OF PLENTY

IN THIS ISSUE

ENVICO:

NZ drone company

flying high

SWIPEDON:

Responding quickly to

market changes

LAWVU:

Software firm puts

legal teams first

ARRON

EDWARDS:

Explore your tech

future

TECH TALK

– with TS –

Agritech funding

TAKES BIG STEP FORWARD

By RICHARD RENNIE

Bay of Plenty agritech startups stand to be

among many of the firms to benefit from the

first milestone to be achieved from the sector’s

Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) announced

last year.

One of the plan’s key goals was to develop a

venture capital fund targeting agritech startups

wanting to advance to a commercial stage. The

agritech ITP was the first of several planned by

government, due to also include tourism, forestry

and food sectors.

Brendan O’Connell, Agritech NZ chief executive

announced to Bay of Plenty agritech firms late in

April the launch of the Finistere Aotearoa Fund as

a $42 million source of capital. The fund comes

with the backing of the NZ Growth Capital

Partners and San Diego-based Finistere Ventures.

Critics of New Zealand’s agritech sector, which

generates $1.2 billion of export income a year,

have cited a lack of pathway to commercialising

startups as a major roadblock to the sector’s

growth.

AGRITECH IS BIG IN NZ

New Zealand is often compared to Israel, with

a similar population, but an agritech sector

generating ten times the amount of export

earnings. But O’Connell says the funding

market for agritech in New Zealand has matured

significantly in recent years, with the full

spectrum of funds now available from angel

investors sparking startups, growth phase and

commercial pathway funding.

Tauranga is increasingly being recognised as a

hub for angel investment funding with Enterprise

Angels for example providing funding for 60

early stage startups to the value of $24 million

since launching 10 years ago.

“Companies like (BoP based) Robotics Plus need

to be celebrated for the ambitions they have got,

and the funding support they have managed to

get,” said O’Connell.

Robotics Plus secured US$10 million of funding

in 2018 from Japanese robotics giant Yamaha

to help further develop its orchard automation

equipment. “It is a very different business model

to what we have seen before in New Zealand,

with the exception of Xero.”

Fund sources now included well-backed

operators such as Pacific Channel, which has

placed in excess of NZ$50 million of early-stage

funding into 27 New Zealand startups through

50 capital raises.

Pioneer Capital has invested in 23 businesses

with funding aimed at businesses already

managed by capable operators wanting to

expand into larger international markets, typically

between the $10 million-$50 million range.

“Where there used to be holes there are not

holes now.”

Increasingly then the challenge was to, like a

dating process, match the right investors up with

the right agritech startups.

INVALUABLE ACCELERATOR

PROGRAMME

O’Connell says this is where the Sprout Agritech

was invaluable with its Accelerator programme.

This aimed to expose startup personnel to

business models that had worked, applying key

lessons to their own businesses to make them

“match fit” for a scrutinising investor.

Refining the pitch, having the business plan

challenged and working closely with mentors

helped ensure neither party wasted each other’s

time in determining their suitability.

Overall O’Connell is optimistic about New

Zealand’s status as an agritech hub, having moved

into ninth place globally recently for startup

potential, and recognised as a regional leader.

One other outcome of the industry ITP that local

tech firms had pinned some hopes on was the

development of a robotics academy in Tauranga,

leveraging off work done by University of

Waikato and Robotics Plus.

But O’Connell – who took over the job a year

ago – says this had been revised when it was

realised the expertise sat not only in the Bay

of Plenty, but around the country, and it would

prove more effective to develop a better

network from the resources already in place

nationally.


10 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS June 2021

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June 2021 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS 11

Envico is flying high

NZ DRONE COMPANY ATTRACTING INTEREST WORLDWIDE

By DAVID PORTER

Sam Vye and Cameron Baker set up Bay of

Plenty company Envico Technologies two and a

half years ago to develop tech for conservation.

After some world firsts with drone technology

and becoming well known for “big drones” both

domestically and internationally, the partners

have also recently started Syos Aerospace.

“The vision is to become a world-leading drone

manufacturer, specialising on heavy-lift utility

drones,” said Vye. “By 2024 we aim to have a

production facility in the Bay producing 200

units per annum, exporting 95 percent to target

regions, tapping into a projected $45 billion

market.”

MANUFACTURING BUSINESS

PLANNED FOR BAY

Vye said the company decided to set up a

manufacturing business in the Bay to develop

the drone platform, and to become a certified

aircraft manufacturer.

According to Vye, the response to the company’s

products has been huge. “It will most likely be

more of an international market, but there will

be some domestic sales,” Vye told Bay of Plenty

Business News.

As noted, the company is expecting around 95

per cent of its sales from abroad – markets such

as the US and Europe and Asia.

The company plans a Series A investment round

at the end of 2021 to facilitate this growth.

According to the company’s mission statement,

the aim is to develop pioneering technology

solutions for environmental sustainability.

“Our purpose is to identify and develop

suitable solutions that can overcome our

present problems that negatively impact our

environment. Whether that problem is detecting

invasive species, effective invasives control or

deforestation. We are focused on practical and

viable solutions for every problem we set out to

solve.”

“There definitely is high interest in New Zealand,

but we don’t really have competition in the class

we’re in, anywhere in the world,” said Vye.

He pointed out that any company that starts off

in New Zealand most likely they will be doing

more overseas than domestically simply because

of the sheer size of the available markets

overseas.

“The response has been huge,” he said. “The

attraction has been because we’ve developed

a product that is highly practical and not just

based on aesthetics or just to get the investors

interested. We’ve actually developed a product

we would like to use ourselves.” “We don’t really

have competition in the class we’re in anywhere

in the world,” he said.

Vye said that one of the requirements of the

Drone prototype unveiled.

Photo/supplied.

drone was that it could be delivered to sites

anywhere in the world or around New Zealand

– either on the back of a trailer or in a shipping

container – without any disassembly being

required, most places worldwide. This reduced

transportation costs, he said.

Bay company

survives pandemic

THANKS TO GLOBAL SUPPORT

By DAVID PORTER

SwipedOn Pocket – employee companion app

For Bay of Plenty company SwipedOn, as for

many others, dealing with Covid-19 hasn’t been

easy. And as an ex Ship’s Captain on container

ships, cruise ships and superyachts, Hadleigh

Ford isn’t your standard tech entrepreneur. The

idea for SwipedOn came when he noticed that

they still used a standard paper visitor book to

register guests on his ships, and the realisation

that a digital solution would offer their guests a

vastly better experience.

SwipedOn is a company that has gone from

a tech startup to a global-leading visitor

management system, with clients that

include Bayer, Disney, FedEx, 3M, Krispy Kreme,

Gate Gourmet, Bosch and Skyscanner.

SwipedOn is a cloud-based iPad application that

replaces paper visitor books with an elegant and

simple tech solution. Founded by Ford in 2016,

the company experienced rapid growth within its

first two years of operation.

GROWTH COMPANY HERITAGE

In 2018, SwipedOn won the Callaghan

Innovation Growth Grant, was nominated as

finalists in the NZ Hi-Tech Awards for start-up

of the year, and was sold to British based

Smartspace Software PLC. 2020 saw another

year of growth for SwipedOn and the company

diversified and expanded on their product

offering in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,

to include solutions for workplace screenings

and contact tracing among other functionalities.

SwipedOn is unique in that over 80 percent of

their business is international and their biggest

markets are the UK, USA and Australia. “The

past year or so of Covid-19 has been wild from

my perspective,” Ford told Bay of Plenty Business

News.

“We had a global audience so perhaps saw the

impact faster than most in New Zealand. Our

customers were either closing up or working

from home. Or they had issues using a touch

screen device because of the potential risk

of cross contamination. So our fundamental

business model was in question in question at

the same time that many global economies were

falling over. So yes, that was quite a torrid time.”

However, Swiped On responded, putting its

team together for a brainstorming session to

explore alternative ways of operating.

MOVING CONTACTLESS

As the pandemic got underway they shifted

the entire app from iPad to contactless in a

matter of weeks, introduced visitor screening

questions and provided training in using the app

for contact tracing. Ford’s visitor management

system eventually saw huge growth due to a

global demand for visitor screening and contact

tracing.

Developed during the height of the pandemic

in response to real-time needs, SwipedOn’s new

products include: contactless workplace sign-in,

visitor and employee screening questions, a

dedicated employee sign-in app, contact tracing

and SwipedOn Desks – a new feature for shared

workspaces.

Contactless sign-in

● Contactless sign-in allows visitors to

smoothly and safely sign in and out of the

workplace using their own mobile, eliminating

the need to touch a communal device.

SwipedOn Desks

Hadleigh Ford, SwipedOn founder.

Photo/supplied

● SwipedOn Desks helps utilise shared

spaces effectively, optimising operational costs,

and offering greater control over workplace

health and safety policies. The new feature

allows administrators to manage hot desks,

agile or activity-based working environments,

keep track of office occupancy, and even set

resources as unavailable to help ensure effective

social distancing.

● SwipedOn Pocket is an employee

companion app that helps facilitate a risk-free

workplace via a contactless sign-in experience

for staff using their Android or iOS smartphones.

The app includes screening questions

and employee movements are logged - giving

a full oversight of who is in the building at any

one time.

SwipedOn Proximity

● SwipedOn Proximity offers verified

on-site sign-in for employees by alerting users

through the pocket app that they are within

a predetermined radius of the workplace,

prompting them to sign in.

Visitor and employee screening questions

● Businesses can easily screen

employees and visitors by asking them custom

yes/no questions to determine if they are a

safety risk to the workplace.

Contact tracing button

● The ability to contact trace has always

been possible with SwipedOn, but it used to

be a manual process. In the recent product

update, contact tracing has been transformed

into an automated process. It now has the

capability to alert users who could have had

contact with an individual who is later deemed

high risk.

Ford said new owner Smartspace Software PLC

had been consistently supportive and SwipedOn

was able to push into new market segments.

It also helped, he said, that SwipedOn had

developed quite a “tail wind” that helped it to

rally support from old and new customers.

“We’ve had quite a significant customer base

we’d managed to build products for, to help us

ensure growth with the business,” said Ford.

“Our buyers have been extremely supportive.”


12 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS May 2021

Xero explores leadership training options with Jason,

Leah and the team of SMYD Chartered Accounts.

Getting the most

OUT OF YOUR PEOPLE AND YOUR BUSINESS

By CRAIG HUDSON

I was recently asked, how do you balance looking

after your people with the need to deliver

commercial value? Simple – these two things are

not mutually exclusive. You can be successful in

business without compromising your ability to

be human.

I go by the adage, “where focus goes, energy

flows”. If you can focus on the building blocks of

success, such as developing your people, instead

of success alone, then success will follow. I

believe people are the most valuable resource in

a business and should be the core of everything

we do.

The Xero leadership team went down to Waihi

recently for a planning session, and there I met

with Jason and Leah from SMYD Chartered

Accountants, who were a finalist in the Small

Partner of the Year category in the 2020 Xero

Awards. We had a kōrero about wellbeing and

the impact of this on business.

When he and his wife Leah started their

accounting practice, they had one major focus in

mind – a better lifestyle and ultimate wellbeing

for themselves and their family. Now that they

have expanded to a larger team, they have kept

employee wellbeing top of mind – allowing

staff to work flexible hours, and remotely from

home -–meaning they can all put their family

and lifestyle commitments first, and work around

those.

Jason said by putting their people first, they have

built an extremely loyal, motivated and engaged

team who really care about their clients. And in

turn, they’ve seen exponential business growth.

In fact, they’ve never needed to advertise

SMYD’s services because word-of-mouth is so

powerful for them. And I believe that comes

down to focusing on the fact that people and

Craig Hudson, Managing Director New

Zealand and Pacific Islands, Xero

their wellbeing are at the heart of their business.

Looking after your people’s wellbeing should be

a priority for small business leaders. If you’re not

convinced, let me give you the business case.

Research commissioned by Xero and conducted

by the New Zealand Institute of Economic

Research (NZIER) shows that for every dollar

invested in organisational wellbeing, employers

can get up to $12 back.

This return comes from avoiding the negative

impacts of poor wellbeing, by creating a positive

culture in the workplace that supports the

physical and mental health of staff. It doesn’t

need to take a lot of time or money. It can be as

simple as having one-on-one conversations with

your team to get to know them better.

Taking an interest in their lives – and sharing

more about your own – will help build a more

open and trusted environment where people feel

comfortable sharing things with you.

ADVERTORIAL

SwipedOn

Launches New

Tech Products

FOR THE FLEXIBLE WORKPLACE

Smart Desk

Management

Effortlessly manage your workplace environment

Easily locate and book desks on-the-go

Book/reserve desks in advance

Control office capacity

View occupancy and history

Locate key contacts such as fire warden or first aider

Stress free desk allocations

Customised to fit your needs

Request your free SwipedOn Desks demo today

www.swipedon.com/desks

Tauranga-based Software-as-a-Service

(SaaS) company SwipedOn, went from tech

startup to offering a world-leading visitor

management system with major multinational

clients within five years.

With the initial intent to replace the paper

visitor book, enhance data privacy and create

a streamlined workplace, Covid-19 delivered

a true test of their ability to ensure the

product would continue to evolve amidst a

rapidly-changing global environment.

Now, SwipedOn is helping over 7000

businesses in more than 70 countries return

to work safely with features which help with

Covid safe compliance and so much more.

SwipedOn’s latest Development, SwipedOn

Desks is proving to be a useful tool for

businesses across the world as they begin to

reopen their doors post-pandemic.

SwipedOn Desks offers a smart and simple

approach to workplace management.

Businesses which are interested in keeping

employees safe at work through social

distancing, or those who are operating a

hybrid workplace, will love the agility of the

cloud-based platform.

SwipedOn Desks offers any sized business

the ability to manage their shared desk

spaces from a central application; helping to

utilise shared spaces effectively, optimising

your operational costs, while giving you

greater control over implementing your

workplace health and safety policies.

It’s the perfect fit for workplaces in need

of a solution to control office capacity,

view occupancy and history and operate a

hybrid workplace effectively. Office zones

or individual desks can be booked out to

accommodate the rotation of teams and

individual employees alike.

Desks can be booked easily by an admin

or by employees on-the-go on their

smartphones. For effective social distancing,

desks can be flagged as unavailable by the

admin to prevent these from being booked.


June 2021 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS 13

Tauranga software firm

PUTS LEGAL TEAMS FIRST

By RICHARD RENNIE

Tauranga legal software company LawVu has

been quietly building its client base, capacity

and staff numbers in its central city offices as it

looks well over the horizon for more business

opportunities.

Founded by Sam Kidd and long-time local

resident Tim Boyne, LawVu is a suite of software

services aimed at increasing the productivity of

in-house legal teams in large corporate entities

and multinationals. The company was recently

nudged into the national limelight with the

announcement in early May that it has done a

deal with a large, but as yet un-named social

media company.

Telstra as a client in Australia, a company

with the largest in-house legal counsel in the

Southern Hemisphere. Funding to expand has

come from local investor Craig Wearne who

liked the idea from the get-go.

LawVu recently secured $2.5 million of funding

through a convertible notes offering, run by

Australian venture capital company AirTree

Ventures, supported by NZ Growth Capital

Partners.

“Generally funding has not been too great an

issue, we have always been able to convince

investors about the value of what we are

offering firms, and really it has been more of a

case of waiting for the market to catch up to the

idea,” said Boyne.

LawVu was born in 2015 when Tim Boyne took

his 10 years’ experience working in the IT team

for local legal firm Sharp Tudhope and joined

with Kidd who had experience in a project

management software startup.

“My experience at the law firm was that at

the end of every month pulling together all

the reports for the big company clients,” SAID

Boyne. “It was incredibly painful on our side, and

had to be repeated by the client. I thought there

had to be an easier way to keep track of things.”

‘GO TO’ PRODUCTIVITY TOOL

Partnering with Kidd and being able to apply

his experience from his project management

software saw them develop what is becoming

the “go to” productivity tool for in-house

counsel.

The pair’s big break came when they landed

Boyne said the legal counsel sector has been

largely unchanged over the past 20 years

and has missed out on many of the digital

productivity tools other sectors have benefitted

from.

“For example, 15 percent of lawyers are tracking

contractual obligations and deadlines on PostIt

notes. Feedback we get is that having LawVu

has helped significantly reduce wasted time

for mundane tasks like document searching,

meaning teams can focus on more higher value

projects and activities.

“One city council saved 40 percent on their

expenditure on outside counsel spend, while

another firm’s team of lawyers saved an hour a

day each by not having to search for documents

in the usual way.”

The company has found Australia a good starting

point as an overseas market, with firms generally

being larger and two to three years ahead of

their New Zealand equivalents in adopting new

technology. But New Zealand clients include not

only the big players of Zespri and Fonterra, but

also LIC, Sky and Harcourts.

REVENUE TRIPLED

Last year despite Covid’s disruptions the

company tripled its revenue and will be looking

to further capital fund raising later this year

in the US$10 million range as it continues to

expand its Tauranga office base from its current

30 staff.

Boyne says if he had one wish for Tauranga city,

it would be to see more of a hub develop around

Tim Boyne: co-founder of Taurangabased

legal software company LawVu.

a cluster of tech-focused firms, helping reduce

the region’s reliance upon its physical resources.

“You need good companies to attract good

people, particularly as more and more people

have spouses, who may also wish to work here

coming with them.”

Now with 70 staff spread around Tauranga

and the world in offices in the US, Ireland and

Australia, Boyne said there was no constraint

being based here, and no plans to leave the city.

Australia is currently the company’s largest

market, but the US beckons and the company

is intent on becoming the “go to” option for

in-house legal teams around the world. “We are

all about landing and expanding at this stage.”

ADVERTORIAL

2DEGREES

NETWORK

COMES OF AGE

• $1b total investment in mobile and broadband offering

• Ericsson announced as 5G partner for 2degrees bring world-class expertise

• 5G network build to launch in late 2021

One billion dollars. That’s how much 2degrees

has invested in its network since the telco

opened its doors in 2009. And with the recent

announcement of Ericsson as its 5G partner,

2degrees will offer even more to Kiwis from

late 2021.

2degrees Chief Technology Officer Martin

Sharrock says many Kiwis will be surprised to

learn how far the network has come, with most

still having fond (though out of date) memories

of 2degrees as a start-up.

“Most Kiwis are unaware how much we’ve

grown. We have our sights set on delivering

New Zealand’s best 5G network, on top of the

$1b we’ve already invested in our nationwide

mobile and broadband offering.

“We started replacing the core of our network

in 2020 and we can now accelerate the build

out of 5G with planned upgrades to existing

sites. Ericsson is a global leader in mobile

communications technology, and they will help

us to bring New Zealanders a world-class 5G

network,” says Mr Sharrock.

“We’re excited about 5G and we’re aiming

to have our first sites live in Auckland and

Wellington during 2021. The network will

expand to the other main centres, with plans

for 700 sites.”

In addition to enabling the 5G network

build, partnering with Ericsson will allow

2degrees to double its current 4G capacity

and provide an event better customer

experience, backup up by 100% Kiwi-based

customer care.

“To be able to evolve our network to 5G, we’ll

also be getting in and replacing the heart

of our network so every one of our mobile

customers will benefit,” he said.

Sharrock was keen to point out other

improvements to the 2degrees 3G / 4G

network and said a myth he is keen to bust is

that old fashioned idea that 2degrees still uses

a competitor network to top up its services,

which is no longer the case.

“Our new infrastructure agreement was signed

last year and roll out of that is just wrapping

up. It signals the end of the idea of roaming

and will ensure all our customers will receive

the full 2degrees experience’, especially in

rural areas or on regional roads.”

That means that with almost 1800 sites, the

2degrees mobile network now covers 98.5% of

places Kiwi’s live and work.

The network was recently rated first for ‘most

responsive network’ and first equal for its

‘excellent consistent quality’ by Tutela.


14 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS June 2021

What makes a good IT

ADVERTORIAL

Managed Service Provider?

– AND WHY DO ORGANISATIONS NEED THEM?

When we think of technology, we often think

of the devices, applications and systems we use

daily, to simplify our lives and keep us connected

to the world. We view it as the means that drives

innovation, productivity and efficiency. And we

have become so accustomed to it being readily

available that the standard thought is simply “it

just needs to work”

The accelerated growth of technology has

provided a platform that profoundly impacts a

business’ daily operations. From automation and

productivity to communication and collaboration.

With advancements in tech, SME’s can level the

playing field with larger organisations. From most

aspects, technology is exciting. It opens doors,

streamlines processes and provides tools to scale

our business. It literally put’s the world at our

fingertips. And when we have the right hardware,

systems and software in place, our business can

be limitless.

But what happens when the tech we so heavily

rely on, doesn’t work? What if your business was

to lose access to all your data and systems today?

What is the cost to your business if you have

a total IT blackout for 8 hours, or a week? And

more notably, have you given thought to what the

severity of disruption and reputational damage to

your organisation would be in such an instance? If

2020 taught us anything, it’s that, a solid network

infrastructure and IT platform is pivotal to a

business’s success.

The everchanging landscape of IT and the

intensifying topic of cyber security requires a

careful and considered approach and up to date

knowledge of advancements, which is where the

advantage of having a Managed Service Provider

comes in to play. Your MSP should act as an

extension of your team, provide great value, and

help your organisation succeed. Choosing the

right MSP to partner with, helps shape the future

of your business, so it’s important to know what

to look for.

STRATUS BLUE – A ‘PERPETUAL

BETA’

Stratus Blue is a local MSP – we embrace the

mindset of “Perpetual Beta” a term that is used

to describe an organisation that operates with

a strong feedback loop between customer and

organisation. Our internal philosophy is based

on the idea, that to become the leaders in our

industry, we need to be continuously listening,

learning and adapting. So, we frequently ask

ourselves: “are we meeting that benchmark of a

great MSP?”

Like most service businesses, our “benchmark” is

set by the needs of our customers. Organisations

choose to partner with us because we provide a

customisable solution that meets their needs. We

understand that as a partner to our clients it is our

duty to provide them with experience, expertise,

the latest tech knowledge and resources that

allow for greater accuracy and reduced risks

and liabilities. We want our clients to be able to

focus on their core business - such as direction,

strategies, and growth while we ensure they have

the best practice IT framework in place.

Above all, we foster the care for our people.

Both internally and with each business we are

engaged with. We believe what sets us apart,

are the PEOPLE that make Stratus Blue, and

the culture of genuine care and connection for

the businesses we partner with. It has enabled

us to become a business that grows organically,

through referrals and reputation.

We are humbled at the support we get from many

notable organisations who put their trust in us,

it is their feedback and success that drives us to

strive for continuous improvement, and to never

stop asking ourselves “What makes a good MSP?”

YOU'RE TECHNOLOGY

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Sustaining revenues – in the face of unpredictable

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Understanding changes in human resources and

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Giving businesses the freedom to be

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Call 0800-2-277478

or 07-777 0010

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P R E S E N T E D B Y :


June 2021 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS 15

THE IMPORTANCE OF A

Cyber Security Framework

Cyber Security. Those two words seem to be on

repeat. Everywhere we turn in the tech space,

this topic, albeit being discussed extensively, just

seems to get hotter.

Last month saw the Waikato DBH fall victim to

a “war” it didn’t see coming. Theory is, an email

attachment was opened, and if so, one click,

was all it took bring five hospitals to their knees.

Employees were underpaid or not paid at all,

cancer patients were shifted to other regions,

procedures that required digital imaging were

rebooked and doctors were pushed to rely on

hard copy records and whiteboards to commence

treating patients.

The extent of damage and the cost to the

government and insurance companies are still to

be determined as experts weigh in, that the “war”

is far from over. As cyber security heroes work

tirelessly to put out the “fires” the looming fact is

that even once all workstations and software are

restored from backups and systems are up and

running, the risk of all patient information being

released online is still very real.

THE MONEY MOTIVE

Simply put, a large government organisation was

infiltrated by hackers with one motive. Money.

According to a recent cyberwarfare report, by

2025 cybercrime globally will cost businesses

USD$10.5 trillion annually. And if the theory of

human error, one small moment of misjudgement,

a single motion of a finger on a mouse, is what’s

to blame. It reinforces, that without a doubt,

alongside health and safety, cyber security and

awareness should be the top discussion points on

every businesses risk register.

At times this topic brings about the sense of

scaremongering, with businesses of all sizes still

embracing the approach of “she’ll be ‘right” or

there’s no reason for us to be targeted”. In fact

the above comparison to a “war” might seem

excessive to some. But there are staggering stats

showing that over 50 percent of businesses

across all industries in NZ were successfully

targeted by a ransomware attack in the past

12 months, and one in five of those businesses

stated the attack caused serious disruptions to

their operations.

CYBER SECURITY SHOULD BE A

PRIORITY

It raises cause for alarm that when in discussions

with many business owners and decision makers

Cyber Security still does not rank as a priority.

We look at the importance of Health and Safety

in the workplace, it is pivotal to keep our people

safe, but if our business operations, funds and IP

isn’t safe, how do we ensure the continuation of

business as usual for those we employ or service?

Cyber Competency in a permanently digitally

connected world is becoming a skillset required

for leaders and employees of organisations and

it’s evident that Cyber Security is no longer an

IT duty, but that of the entire organisation, no

matter the size. Breaches can be achieved through

hardware, software, and of course the largest risk

TECH TALK

at hand, human error. As health and safety does,

cyber security too, requires a framework. One of

assessment, commitment, action and culture.

Taking into consideration what the critical areas

to protect are in your business, and what the

implications would be if you were to lose your

data assets or if your business operations were

to be down for any length of time, will help asses

what security measures you have in place and

where there are gaps. This enables you to act and

put a framework in place for security measures,

training and a security “playbook” to follow.

Committing to this Framework means creating

a culture of cyber security awareness, that

means demonstrating your commitment through

educating staff and ensuring that there is a healthy

sustainable security culture. When a security

culture is sustainable, it transforms security from

a one-time event into a lifecycle that generates

security returns forever.

The World Economic Forum Principles of

board governance of cyber risk suggests some

> BY TONY SNOW

Tony Snow is chief executive and co-founder of Stratus Blue.

He can be contacted at Tony@stratusblue.co.nz.

considerations for organisations to integrate and

support strategic and security goals:

• Appointing a role of a security officer, or more

commonly outsourcing it. This role carries the

responsibility to ensure a comprehensive plan

(playbook/blueprint) exists for data governance

• Inspiring a cyber security culture

• Reviewing cyber security function,

performance and accountability

• Set the expectation that cyber risk is an

important part of business longevity and

continuity

Regular reviews of your framework and cyber

management plans should be conducted as

technology and the sophistication of attacks

everchanging. Regular and adhoc internal and

third-party audits should also be performed on

the effectiveness of cyber risk management and

recovery plans. How is your plan looking and has

it been tested?

TECH BRIEF

LEVERAGING DIGITAL TOOLS

A master of many tools, Alicia Beach has

maximised her Instagram as the platform to sell

her paintings. Although this could easily be a

successful full time job, two months ago Beech

launched Aura Digital to help other creatives

and small businesses also achieve their goals

and create income with what they do.

“Aura Digital’s mission is to inspire and

empower people to use digital tools, platforms

and apps to achieve their goals and create

opportunities for themselves,” she said. “I love

watching people thrive, especially when it’s as

easy as giving a few tips and tricks to get the

ball rolling.”

First connected with Venture Centre through

her role at Creative Bay of Plenty (where

she was marketing lead), Beech is excited

to continue partnering with their work in

equipping entrepreneurs on their journey.

As a Digital Marketing consultant, Beech

coaches people to leverage social media and

digital marketing with tools such as Canva,

Instagram and email marketing.

Painting, alone in her “bat cave”, without any

inhibitions is Alicia’s happy place. “It’s what I

need to be doing. But if it’s all I did, I would

probably lose touch with the outside world and

reality (laughs). Aura Digital means I get to pass

on what I’ve learnt.”

DIGITAL SAVVINESS

Beech’s savviness with digital tools – especially

Instagram – means she is consistently prebooked

out for her art. She shares that one of

Instagram’s biggest advantages is that it opens

you up to the world, widening your potential

customer base. No longer are you limited by

being a local business.

“Instagram allows my main market to be in

Australia. Just this morning I sold a painting to

someone in Perth.”


16 BAY OF PLENTY BUSINESS NEWS June 2021

Operational improvements

DELAYED BY COVID-19 IMPACTS

EXPLORE YOUR TECH FUTURE

> BY ARRON EDWARDS

Arron Edwards is CEO, Bravesight.com. He can be reached at

arron.edwards@bravesight.com or by phoning 07 928 8867.

Digital Transformation happens when a business

decides to improve its operations using

technology. The technology used could range

from ERP or back-office software to e-commerce

systems to speed up order entry and fulfilment.

Companies that back themselves started and

completed the initial work to improve their

businesses using technology. Since lockdown,

we’ve observed many companies are struggling,

not financially, but rather operationally due

to delayed shipments and shortages both in

stock and labour. This has meant these vital

transformation projects have been put on the

back burner for a while, even though they will

help with some of these issues.

This is behaviour we have seen for quite some

time. Business owners who run multiple projects

simultaneously, end up with delayed projects

because their priorities are split. Some companies

work with advisors, coaches or consultants to

help them prioritise the projects to make the most

significant improvement.

When IT projects are prioritised, these companies

have the largest growth. We’ve not seen it just

a few times; every client we’ve worked with that

have prioritised this Digital Transformation has

grown.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM

A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

PROJECT?

Additional capacity – There is an initial thought

that there will be cost savings, but this seldom

happens as the businesses realise they needed

the free up capacity of one or more key people,

so they get more business through their systems

rather than lay people off.

You’ll find new problems – Once a key constraint

is flowing better, companies will have a raft of

new problems come up. We’ve warned clients of

these before they arrive and help them resolve

these problems quickly.

You’ll wish you’d started sooner – Working on

the project requires a lot of hard work and more

hours tidying up data etc, then you’ll see the

return and want to get it done faster. This is a

comment we have heard many times.

WHAT STOPS COMPANIES FROM

TRANSFORMING THEIR BUSINESS?

Companies delay these kinds of projects because

they are close to retirement or selling their

business. This means they don’t realise the

maximum sell price for their business – just ask

any business broker. Mostly though, it’s fear.

Business owners have heard some horror stories

or had one themselves.

We always advise companies to find out

what a provider is like to work with and hear

that things don’t always go to plan. It’s the

hard work companies put in that make their

transformations a success; their partners are

there to support them in the areas they don’t

have expertise in.

WHERE SHOULD YOU START?

Work out what process or system is causing you

the biggest headache, then get some help to

determine if that is the problem. Many advisors

have experience across many industries, so see

common issues. Some issues might not be in the

place you think they are, so having a second pair

of eyes can help clarify the issue.

Decide you want to solve a problem, and work

out how much that problem is costing you. Often,

a problem is costing you much more than you can

easily quantify.

These problems are worth solving first. Then

you’ll find a string of related problems that can be

solved at the same time.

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