For the past four years, Deloitte’s annual survey of mid-market technology leaders has uncovered emerging trends and the collective drivers behind their decisions. This year’s findings are particularly exciting, as they show that executives have obtained a new level of technology maturation that is focused on deeper integration.
Deloitte’s 2016 Technology in the mid-market—Taking ownership survey results reveal that productivity and strategic value are the primary reasons that companies are investing in technology. This confirms they are finally recognizing technology—including cloud and data analytics—as a differentiator that allows them to leapfrog larger competitors and provide an enhanced customer experience. And it’s delivering enough value to give IT leaders the influence they need to invest in other technologies and play a part in setting the technology agenda.
“Technology is becoming more of a differentiator in the middle market,” said Harvey Michaels, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and National Consulting Leader for Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services. “At a strategic level, technology is helping smaller, growing companies scale faster and increase their valuations.” [i]
The Productivity Priority
Productivity is one of the top priorities in business today, and survey respondents reported that technology has increased productivity within their firms, freeing up their teams to take on new or additional tasks. The technologies achieving the greatest gains are cloud infrastructure, analytics, and big data.
“In the long-run, productivity gains are mostly generated through innovations in technology and in the way that businesses manage people and technology,” said Ira Kalish, chief global economist, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. [ii]
Accelerating Value in the Cloud
Finance and accounting are the most likely adopters of cloud-based technologies, and the shift in focus to the cloud for all mid-market companies is additional evidence of technology maturity. Companies see the benefit of speed to value from orchestrating logistics and managing personnel information in a cloud data center, without the upfront costs involved with traditional software applications.
Deloitte’s survey reports that “64 percent of respondents said they were actively building cloud solutions into customer relationship management or had firmly established the technology within the function. Improving the speed of implementation—shortening the time to extract value from the applications—ranked first, along with reducing concerns about data security, among the top reasons companies select cloud based applications.” [iii]
Technology is extremely effective for enhancing the customer experience. Not only can it track and deliver customer behavior in real time, but predictive or cognitive analytics can inform future needs.
The survey revealed that the number of companies considering their predictive analytics adoption as “mature” has increased from last year, along with the amount who are “investigating” technologies for analytics. The greatest share of respondents reported that analytics allows them to boost operational effectiveness, and they identified what their organization views as the highest value of data analytics:
- Increased operational effectiveness (32.9%)
- Greater competitive edge in understanding customer trends (26.7%)
- Increased customer intimacy (21%)
- Ability to predictively manage aspects of the business (19.3%) [iv]
Deloitte’s survey concludes that “mid-market companies are starting to look beyond immediate needs toward a future where technology plays a much greater role in just about every aspect of their business.” [v]
As the modern business landscape increases in complexity, the adoption of cloud-based technology and real-time analytics will expedite growth and create competitive advantages for middle market organizations.
[i] Technology in the mid-market – A Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services report, August 2016
[ii] Technology in the mid-market – A Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services report, August 2016
[iii] Technology in the mid-market – A Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services report, August 2016
[iv] Technology in the mid-market – A Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services report, August 2016
[v] Technology in the mid-market – A Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services report, August 2016