Mid-market and private companies are demonstrating their commitment to harnessing new technology, according to a new Deloitte report, “Technology in the mid-market: Closing the gap,” published today. For companies in this market segment, digitization is proving to be a growth-enabler, customer-relationship builder, and overall asset to improve productivity.
For five consecutive years, Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services has explored technology trends and their impact specific to mid-market and private business in the U.S. economy. Deloitte surveyed 500 executives from mid-market companies, and found this year that more than a third of respondents are spending more than 5 percent of their revenue on technology resources. It’s the highest level of investment seen to date.
“This year, the research proves that technology is the tool that allows mid-market companies to leverage their inherent agility and open up opportunities for business, especially for those that are smaller in scale and revenue,” said Anthony Stephan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and U.S. technology strategy and transformation leader. “Mid-market business leaders see value in supporting technology investments and are steadily increasing organizational support to enable their success.”
Digital capabilities invigorate business models and goals
As emerging technologies take shape in mid-market companies, businesses across industries are shifting priorities and resources to capitalize on investments they anticipate will have the most impact on increasing productivity, improving customer engagement and predicting business outcomes. The survey showed:
- Achieving greater customer intimacy is at the heart of companies’ social platform strategies, according to 34 percent of respondents.
- Fifty-eight percent use data analytics for sales and customer management.
- Among firms using machine intelligence, 62 percent believe it’s helping analyze business outcomes.
When it comes to driving productivity and efficiency through technology trends, big data, information security and cloud integration have the most potential. Reliance on cloud-enabling services continues to increase among private and mid-market companies. For the second consecutive year, respondents said the top reason they chose cloud-based solutions was to improve the speed of implementation of technology solutions.
Furthermore, increasing the accuracy of forecasting and reporting business results tops the list for uses of data analytics with 65 percent of respondents.
While still in its infancy, mixed reality — which combines the benefits of augmented reality, virtual reality and the Internet of Things — is showing potential as a strategy to achieve widespread business goals with two-thirds of mid-market respondents experimenting, building or successfully deploying mature applications. The survey showed:
- More than 30 percent of companies are in deployment stage.
- Fifty-two percent use it operationally.
Mid-market takes a human-centric approach to technology
It’s clear that the people behind technology, at all levels of an organization, play an important role from adoption through implementation. This year’s survey points to an increased collaboration within the C-suite, with 34 percent of respondents revealing that business and information technology leaders are strategically managing the adoption of new and emerging technology together, up from 24 percent in 2016.
“With the stakes higher than they’ve ever been, engaged and active leadership sets the tone for operationalizing tech in the mid-market,” said Stephan. “And it’s not just leadership — it demands accountability at all levels to confirm the people pressing the buttons are carefully trained and well-educated in the technology.”
With the investment and adoption of these technology assets, the focus on cyber security is intensifying
Once again, survey respondents rank cybersecurity as the top risk, but this year, executives also closely view its possibilities:
- Forty-eight percent of respondents say managing cybersecurity and information security risk is the top tech investment priority for the coming year.
- Despite this investment, the perceived benefit of investment in information security ranks third with analytics.
More mid-market companies are leveraging the next phase of their investments to respond with agility and speed. The survey showed:
- The percentage of companies investing in advanced security hardware to mitigate security risks jumped almost 10 percentage points from 2016 (46 to 55 percent).
- Thirty-four percent plan to use blockchain to store and secure digital records.
For additional information on “2017 Mid-Market Technology Trends Report” click on the link https://goo.gl/cvmBjJ.