NZTE to outline growth strategy

A key official in the government's effort to boost the ICT sector will provide a progress report to software companies in Auckland this week.

A key official in the government’s effort to boost the ICT sector will provide a progress report to software companies in Auckland this week.

Paul Claridge, director of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s ICT group, will outline priorities for helping achieve the government’s aim of turning the sector into a $10 billion contributor to the economy by 2012.

“There’s quite a portfolio being delivered in the ICT area,” Claridge says, “but we’ve worked out three key themes.”

First is to “build a stronger pipeline” of ICT companies with an export focus; another is to promote New Zealand as a centre for ICT services; and the last is to encourage greater domestic use of ICT in sectors such as agriculture.

With successful local companies like Marshal Software being lost to the New Zealand economy, Claridge says NZTE wants to “make the ground fertile” for new ones to spring up. NetIQ, the US company which bought Marshal Software 15 months ago, announced late last month that its New Zealand development team would be disbanded and future work done in Texas.

“Ideally we want as much development work remaining in New Zealand as possible,” says Claridge. “That’s the best outcome.” However, he acknowledges businesses decide what is best for them.

In the course of working out a growth strategy, the agency has surveyed the sector to find out how many organisations are providing services to ICT businesses. The study identified more than 300 organisations, which Claridge says suggests the sector suffers from fragmentation.

Claridge will be speaking at a New Zealand Software Association meeting tonight.

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