Mid-sized US businesses are relying on tech for growth

Amid the tightest labor market in years, mid-market and private companies are placing a premium on talent as being a critical factor in technology deployment.
8 August 2018

Do businesses need to train their employees better? Source: Shutterstock

Customers flock to businesses that have the most effective and exciting technology solutions. Failing to transform could have catastrophic consequences.

Experts believe that operations, customer service, and marketing are expected to see the most workforce-related changes. As a result, businesses are seeking to employ executives who can keep up with the new-age customers and help drive innovative tech transformation programmes.

According to a recent study by Deloitte, mid-market and private companies are placing a premium on talent as being a critical factor in technology deployment.

“Mid-market and private companies understand they don’t have to compromise between investments in technology and talent. As an engine of economic growth, the segment is augmenting the workforce with technology and driving businesses in new ways,” said Deloitte Consulting Senior Manager Chris Jackson.

A recent survey also indicated that 46 percent of private companies plan to hire more people than before emerging technologies came on the scene.

Larger entities, however, often complain that there isn’t enough tech talent to fill the jobs they have. However, it seems mid-market and private companies have a solution.

To prepare workers for the new digital world, 61 percent of mid-market and private companies surveyed are reskilling employees, and 57 percent are redesigning jobs to seamlessly integrate people and machines.

Consequentially, 58 percent of business leaders anticipate a boost in worker productivity, and 55 percent expect a reduction in operational costs.

Mid-market and private enterprises also are taking advantage of the gig economy.

Sixty-two percent of respondents say it has allowed their companies to become even more agile in product and service development, while half of the companies surveyed are leveraging gig workers to develop entire new lines of business.

Given the high demand for talent, mid-market and private companies are developing strategies to attract the next generation of workers.

To meet the demands of the digital native Generation Z, the segment is creating an inclusive workforce (64 percent), offering enhanced experiential learning and development (58 percent), and focusing on well-being (55 percent).

However, the pace of technological adoption — and talent strategies needed to sustain it —necessitate a collaborative approach to leadership.

Technology decisions are no longer the sole responsibility of the CIO. Eighty-seven percent of executive leaders are leading the charge or remaining actively engaged.

Underscoring the importance of C-suite involvement, more than half of respondents (57 percent) are spending more on technology this year than last.

Furthermore, mid-market and private companies are using the savings from the December 2017 passage of US tax reform legislation to invest in emerging technologies (42 percent) and hire new talent to expand digital capabilities (37 percent).

Despite increased collaboration, a third of respondents report having little to no formal IT governance processes in place.

A lack of resources (26 percent), cost (21 percent), and a lack of understanding of its importance within the C-suite (19 percent) are holding companies back. This becomes more important when privacy and ethical concerns are considered given the pace of technological change.

“Technological disruption brings with it both risks and opportunities, none of which can be properly addressed without rigorous IT governance practices. Given technology’s proliferation across business operations, it is crucial for the C-suite and boards to have an active role in IT as it relates to overall governance,” concluded Deloitte Consulting Principal Doug Beaudoin.