[1 September/ National Business Review]

A study funded by Microsoft and prepared by Massey Business School researchers examined the impact of cloud computing and the collection of big data. Researchers interviewed food technologists and agrifood industry members and found a gap between how the two groups see the future. Lead researcher Professor Stephen Kelly said farmers believe the future will simply involve more technology, whereas technologists are predicting fast change causing major disruption to business practices and models. Mr Kelly said New Zealand farmers lack capital or experience to recognise and seize new opportunities, unlike the USA, and therefore current business models may not work. Mr Kelly said cloud computing and big data sharing could maximise a clean, green niche of traditional farm practices through greater customer knowledge and effective cost management.