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Deloitte Survey: Mid-Market Companies are at the Frontline of Innovation

August 18, 2016, 07:21 AM
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More companies in the middle market are embracing emerging technologies as a key element of their business growth strategy, according to a new Deloitte report, "Technology in the mid-market-Taking ownership," which premieres today.

The survey also revealed that CIOs and CTOs are calling more of the shots with technology investments. In fact, respondents indicated that almost half (49 percent) of technology adoption is led by IT department leaders, compared to only 36 percent in 2015.

"As C-suite attitudes toward technology shift, our clients are expanding the role and influence of IT leadership," said Stephen Keathley, deputy chief information officer, Deloitte Services LP and national technology leader of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services. "IT is becoming less of an administrative or support function, and is gaining an important seat at the table, driving technology adoption, integration and strategy."

With more IT leaders setting the technology agenda for their companies:

  • 25 percent of respondents say they have processes in place for exploring emerging technologies, and
  • 19 percent of respondents reported a significantly higher technology spend compared to last year.

Mid-Market Companies Are No Longer Playing Catch-up

Companies in this market segment are leveling the playing field with their larger counterparts by harnessing the latest innovations. According to the survey:

  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents use some form of virtual or augmented reality in their business,
  • With 42 percent of companies using demos or interactive tools to help improve employee and customer interactions with products and services.

Furthermore, almost all survey respondents indicated they were investigating how to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) in their companies, with more than half of executives noting mature IoT deployments or building their IoT capabilities.

"The evolution of cloud computing has laid the groundwork for this accelerated wave of emerging technology adoption," said Keathley.  "As a result, more mid-sized companies are embracing the ingenuity of virtual and augmented reality and IoT to track business processes, anticipate customer behavior and maximize growth."

Coinciding with their rapid adoption of emerging technologies, more companies are also using predictive and cognitive analytics to gain valuable insights into their customer base and inform customer relationship tactics and pricing decisions.

Concerns Over Information Security Take Center Stage

Thirty-six percent of company leaders identified "managing cybersecurity and information risk" as their top technology priority this year, displacing "improving existing business processes." Implementation of new security processes, monitoring and detection efforts are their most important areas of focus for cybersecurity spending.

In efforts to address concerns over data security weaknesses, more companies are also turning to cloud-based applications. Fifty-four percent of respondents rank it as one of their top three reasons for investing in cloud technology. 

"Pervasive news of cybersecurity attacks and data security breaches puts companies on the defensive," says Keathley. "Reflecting concerns over hacking, payments fraud and infrastructure risks, 52 percent of our survey respondents said they have plans in place to manage external information security threats. Companies should batten down the hatches to protect against security threats."

From June 17 to July 5, 2016, a Deloitte survey conducted by OnResearch, a market research firm, polled 500 executives at U.S. mid-market companies, examining prominent technology trends within the market segment to determine the role technology plays and how it influences business decisions. Respondents were limited to executives at mid-market companies with annual revenues between $100 million and $1 billion, and included representatives across industries. The full survey report can be viewed here.

The Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services team delivers a distinctive client experience through service offerings tailored to address the unique needs of privately held and middle-market companies.

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