A wee SWOT analysis on the Digital Strategy

After reading through the digital strategy document I had a think about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats around it. Several points are already covered in the official strategy document, but I think they're important so I've repeated them here.

Strengths of implementing a Digital Strategy for NZ

  • More connected – business gets done faster; people get what they need, when they need it.
  • NZ is a small country - easier to reach everyone to educate / explain / onboard.
  • We have a ‘punch above our weight’ mindset which, if framed correctly ("We aim to lead the pack!"), will help in adopting a digital mindset.

Weaknesses

  • More connected - a greater reliance on the digital world will change the way people interact (i.e. virtually as opposed to face-to-face).
  • NZ also has an ageing population who may struggle with an increased digital focus.
  • The infrastructure to support a digital focus isn’t here fully. It will cost money to build and maintain a digital infrastructure and ensure equal and consistent access for all communities (as well as the devices to make best use of a digital world).
  • The current talent pool for harnessing the power of a digital NZ is small.

Opportunities

  • More connected (yes, this is a running theme!) - greater efficiencies are achieved when systems, processes, and people can easily talk to each other. NZ businesses can scale up most easily and connect with opportunities around the world that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to in our little NZ silo.
  • Greater job stability as the world becomes more digital.
  • There are also opportunities in instilling a digital mindset in kids from an early age (schools may already do this?). This is especially important because there are opportunities that haven’t been thought of yet, but with better education combined with imagination, can be. If we foster a digital mindset right from the start, NZ can be the at the head of the pack globally.

Threats

  • More connected - it puts personal data and national security at risk from local and international attacks, not to mention the impact of natural disasters.
  • We're creating an overreliance on the internet, so if, for example, all a person's money is in their bank account and the bank goes down, then they can’t access their money.
  • It may result in unforeseen biases in business and communities against people who can’t fully leverage the digital world for whatever reason, thereby changing NZ’s society (see how society changed with use of social media, as an example)
  • It will result in greater long-term exposure to ‘fake news’, misinformation, bias/prejudice. My question around this is how can we help people develop critical thinking skills to spot false news, bias, and misinformation? This already is a big issue, and the lack of fact-checking and tendency to believe whatever is posted online leads to serious social problems.

Additional questions

  • How will this strategy affect NZ’s carbon footprint? We need to make sure it's sustainable, and as close to carbon-neutral as possible.
  • These days the internet is a necessity, not a luxury. But internet access is not cheap for individuals in NZ, and the costs involved with greater connectivity will hinder some people and businesses from fully accessing the virtual world. Should there / can there be regulations put in place for broadband and data costs?

Why the contribution is important

Overall I strongly believe a proactive digital strategy is important for NZ's future success on the world stage. We already punch above our weight in so many ways, so let's add being forerunners in embracing digital change to our belt. 

by JessJane on October 11, 2021 at 07:02PM

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