A new report from Deloitte looks at companies with annual revenues between $100 million and $1 billion. They share the fact that the use of new technology to grow the business is not limited to larger companies. Deloitte indicates that:

“New solutions tied to the cloud and mobile are allowing middle market businesses to boost back-office productivity, reach new customers, and reinforce their culture”.

Their full report has three conclusions:

1. Technology is seen as a catalyst for growth.

“Once predominantly seen as an expense, technology is now viewed by more business leaders as a worthwhile investment and a source of strategic advantage. Additionally, the advent of cloudbased technology offers more affordable alternatives for mid-market companies as they work to drive growth in their organizations.”

2. New technology forays are focused on the customer.

This is consistent with other surveys and reports I have shared, such as the IBM survey of CEOs. As you go deeper into the report, you will see that about 2/3 of mid-market companies have or are in the process of developing their own mobile apps, as they look to mobile as an opportunity to engage customers more directly. In fact, “more than half of the executives — 55 percent — agree that mobile computing will be a differentiator for their company”.

A slight disappointment is that mid-market companies have not yet deployed analytics to full advantage. As Deloitte says:

“Only one in five reveals that their company is focused on leveraging analytics to facilitate predictive decision-making.

“When it comes to strategic decision making, leading businesses are beginning to see the value of applying advanced analytics to areas such as risk management, product development, reputation management and supply chain operations in a bid to remove the “unknowns” and detect early signals of change. To stay competitive, midmarket companies should continue to evolve in their use of analytics by turning to customer data not just to support their marketing decisions, but to manage processes and deliver new insights between and across functional areas throughout their organization.”

3. Security concerns are hampering IT adoption

While it is clearly prudent to consider the need to protect information and comply with privacy and other laws and regulations, this should not unnecessarily hamper adoption of new technology that will transform a business. Deloitte makes two excellent points, which I not only endorse but have been making myself:

  • “As emerging technologies begin to take firmer root in the middle market, forward-thinking leaders should work to proactively mitigate potential business risks by building the requisite due diligence and security strategies into their technology plans. Adopting a different mindset, one in which security and technology are incorporated into the business planning cycle, can empower mid-market companies to stay ahead of the adoption curve.”
  • “It’s a good bet that if your company isn’t marshaling these technologies, your competitors are.”

Is your company taking the right risk when it comes to new technology? Which is greater: the risk of investing, or the risk that your competitor is ahead of you?

I welcome your thoughts.

Note: my work is partially supported by SAP, whose BusinessObjects solutions lead the business analytics market.