Doug Farren, managing director at the National Center for the Middle Market, told IndustryWeek that mid-market companies are facing increasing challenges as they’re too big for exemptions, yet too small to easily face the headwinds. These challenges include tightening regulations, access to capital, procurement of equipment, and retaining talent.
At the same time, mid-market companies also have unique opportunities. Because they’re small enough to be nimble yet big enough to have some capital, these organizations can more easily enter new markets and shift course to adapt to changing environments. Farren said that mid-market companies need to start with more strategic planning and be “aggressive in implementing tools such as data analytics.”
A Deloitte survey of mid-market executives found that the mid-market as a whole has been investing heavily in technology for the past couple of years. More than half of respondents (52%) now approach tech investments for their strategic value, up from 40% two years ago. Many of these companies have been investing in cloud infrastructure and applications to access advanced analytics. The cloud has been especially beneficial to the mid-market, because it allows organizations to scale into advanced solutions with relatively low costs.
Steve Keathley, Deputy CIO at Deloitte Services and National Technology Leader at Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, said that these companies are increasing productivity, growing and overcoming business challenges through their digital transformations. “Companies are finding really interesting and unique ways to bring that into their operations and to improve their relationships with their customers,” said Keathley.
They’re using analytics in many ways. Big data can help drive more efficient scheduling tied to needs and consumer demand. Data from customers also can help drive more targeted marketing efforts. Jorge Izquierdo, VP of market development at the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, said that as more manufacturers look to robotics and automation, analytics also are essential in measuring performance and weighing investments.
Christopher Wilder, senior analyst and practice leader for cloud services and software at Moor Insights & Strategy, reported that today’s mid-market companies are deploying more “horizontally integrated” systems that incorporate vertical or domain-specific functionality. Organizations now can easily produce actionable analytics into customizable dashboards that can allow the C-suite to see a real-time picture and be able to “drill down” for more information. “Real-time intelligence and data analytics are helping companies to make better, faster and well informed decisions,” said Wilder.
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