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Software Spending Continues to Rise in A/NZ Amid COVID-19

According to a worldwide semi-annual software tracker, software spending across Australia and New Zealand reached US$ 13 billion in 2020, a 7% rise from 2019 figures. The second half of 2020 was particularly notable due to a 12% year on year growth – a fourfold increase from the 3% rise reported in the first half of the year.

According to the report, organisations have uncovered weak spots during the pandemic and are now using digital transformation initiatives to build resilience and to invest. Customer experience programmes are now more important in the post-pandemic business environment, with spend on customer relationship management (CRM) applications growing 13% in H2 2020, up from just 4% in H1.

Experts say that in 2020, both countries saw increased online customer activities and interactions via digital channels. Current, clean, constant, and compliant customer data paired with AI-enabled technology is key for future-looking organisations to transform customer relationships and enable customer loyalty and trust.

Spend on collaborative applications also recorded FY growth of 32% in 2020 as organisations and educational institutions shifted to remote working and learning models. Throughout 2020, there was also growth in spending across integration and orchestration middleware (15%), software quality and lifecycle tools (14%), system, IT and service management software (14%), and security software (12%).

The research body recognises that organisations are not only optimising the delivery and management of IT, but they are also focused on securing a wider and more diverse environment brought on by restrictions during the pandemic.

Experts also said that companies need data-driven, AI-enhanced decision-making, and reliable, integrated, cross-department data sources for a solid foundation to then build subsequent processes. Processes also need to be integrated and streamlined to deliver operational improvement. Over the next two years, they expect to see a trend towards the ‘intelligent future enterprise vision’. This means organisations will function as an integrated whole with tightly knit processes and data flow.

In Australia and New Zealand, the market will also realise the value of data for business decision making. Analytics and artificial intelligence will play key roles in realising this value. The experts added that the support to businesses that IT provided in the outbreak of pandemic has given companies more confidence in IT investment. The expectation of that return of investment is high.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced a new procurement framework with an Australia-based enterprise software company that will pave the way for 23 New Zealand government agencies to transition to modern and secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments. The new streamlined procurement arrangements will offer stronger cybersecurity options and improve services to citizens by allowing agencies to be more flexible and efficiently innovate further.

Negotiated by the MBIE and endorsed by the office of the Government Chief Digital Officer, part of the Department of Internal Affairs, the agreement provides a common contractual framework, providing New Zealand government agencies with a clear roadmap for their digital transformation to a SaaS platform. It is part of the Government’s reforms to ICT procurement making it simpler, clearer and faster for agencies and industry to transact services and deliver better outcomes for the community.

The agreement comes at a good time for government agencies with SaaS infrastructure being certified as compliant with the New Zealand Information Security Manual for several years already, building on the high-level credentials recently awarded to the software company by Australia’s security authorities. It also comes at a time when public sector organisations around the country are considering the changes required to be ready for the introduction of e-Invoicing, a digital transformation initiative that allows them to do away with paper invoices to reduce costs and will help them pay suppliers including small businesses faster. The Australian and New Zealand governments use a common standard for e-Invoicing, which means New Zealand agencies can benefit from work that is already done across the Tasman.

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