Recently, the analysis firm Oxford Economics carried out a significant research project into how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) go about building customer relationships, improving agility, and expanding their businesses.
In case you missed it, here’s a summary of what the survey found.
SMEs are adopting a global mindset
One-third of those interviewed said global expansion was a growth driver, one-half of them are collaborating with other firms online, and only one-quarter of them had revenue limited to their “home” market. SMEs are ready to compete with large enterprises, and 59% of them are already doing so. Analytics is arming SMEs to take on the big guys!
Transformation is widespread and centers on technology
SMEs feel that they need to transform their business in order to compete, and two-thirds are doing that right now. Interestingly, technology plays two roles here: both as a facilitator of change and also a driver of change (with mobile, for example). Maybe that’s because one-third of SMEs consider themselves early technology adopters, so the competitive pressure is on.
Business management applications (like enterprise resource planning), mobile, and analytics were the top current investments, while the areas of fastest growth were the cloud (from a small base) and analytics.
Human factors play an important role in the success of SMEs
People and skills were specifically called out as an area of focus, with over one-third of SMEs struggling to find people with the right analytical skills. In the realm of analytics, one-third of the companies surveyed called out the challenge they face developing these skills internally. They understand the value, but lack the skills.
Innovation and differentiation are essential elements of strategy
Innovation was identified as a specific area of focus, with one-third of SMEs reporting that having a culture of innovation was a priority. Additionally, nearly half say that they needed to expand their products and services to drive growth. Analytics plays a critical role in identifying where to expand the portfolio. Also, analytics was identified as a major source of improving customer service for SMEs.
Check out the research to go deeper into the findings!