Mid-Market Companies Looking to IT Investments Despite Uncertainty
A new survey focusing on the mid-market takes a look at how midsize businesses are preparing for the future in these troubled economic waters. While the survey found that mid-market executives had some natural fears about the state of the economy over the next few years, those fears didn't seem to bleed into decisions about their IT investments, a sure sign that IT departments have outgrown their traditional support role and are becoming the face of many businesses.
Deloitte's "Mid-Market Perspectives: 2012 Report on America's Economic Engine" is a survey, conducted by OnResearch, of 528 business leaders in the mid-market. As detailed in this MarketWatch release, the annual survey paints a fairly accurate picture of how midsize companies are looking at the economy as a whole and details what steps they are taking to ensure success in the future.
The 2012 survey focuses on the general uncertainty in the economy, with 86 percent of respondents claiming that the uncertainty is reducing their expectations for growth in the short term. Despite the gloomy outlook, there are a few areas within their businesses that executives plan on seeing some growth, with technology being the most prominent.
When asked about technology investment priorities, respondents noted three key areas that are ripe for investment: cloud computing, business processes, and data analytics. Both business processes and data analytics have been featured in earlier surveys, and their importance can't be overestimated, but the real change here is in the area of cloud computing. Last year, this survey found that the cloud was rated a distant fourth when it came to investment priorities, and now it's neck and neck with the other two areas of IT investment. There's little doubt that cloud computing will continue to win adopters and will probably feature even more prominently in next year's survey.
The Importance of IT Investments
For IT managers at midsize companies, especially those worried about the future of their division, the most important takeaway from this survey is the fact that mid-market executives feel that technology is a safe bet. As noted in this eWeek article, 57 percent of executives in technology verticals expected to exceed the median growth forecast of 0-2 percent. Far fewer executives in other verticals thought the same thing.
The explosion of cloud computing and big data, which is data analytics on a previously unimaginable scale, has thrust IT departments into the spotlight. More and more, companies are looking to IT to develop revenue-increasing solutions instead of simply being a financial siphon that provided a base level of computing. C-level executives can finally see the difference that analytics can provide for other divisions of the company and can understand the flexibility that the cloud gives their company. The Deloitte report shows that even in the most uncertain of economic times, executives are ready and willing to invest as much as they can into IT solutions, and IT managers need to be ready to show the results of those investments.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.