Business owners are being warned their operations are at risk if they fail to keep up with the latest technology.
New Zealand Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub says the country's small to medium-sized business operators are showing signs of falling behind with technology.
His comments follow a study by MYOB showing just 14% of businesses use cloud services, and just over a third have their own website.
Its survey of 1000 business owners indicated those using cloud solutions are more successful. They were 13% more likely to have had revenue growth in the last year, 43% more likely to have more work or sales in the pipeline and 54% more likely to be diversifying.
Mr Eaqub says that, like refrigerated shipping in the 1880s, the internet is a step change in technology that could transform the economy.
It has created a new way for companies to engage with their customers allowing them to access new markets.
Mr Eaqub says it's very disappointing that the internet adoption rate is so low for the New Zealand business community.
"You've got to be in the marketplace, you've got to be in the game to win it. You have to be as proud of your internet site as you would be of your shop front".
Mr Eaqub says the market will move towards those businesses that do have an internet presence.