Today’s midsize firms must reconcile seemingly opposing strategic mindsets – keeping costs down and increasing efficiency while reshaping business models and infusing them with intelligence. The findings of the 2011 IBM Worldwide Study reveal that midsize firms are, in fact, able to juggle these dual priorities to focus on what will offer the most value to their organizations. When asked about their strategic mindset, 79% cited customers, innovation, and growth as their major priorities, with 21% primarily focused on reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
Comparisons between findings from this study and those from 2009 reveal a broadening midsize businesses:
To advance these priorities, more than 70% of midsize firms are seeking a consultative, versus purely transactional, relationship with their primary IT provider. And whether they are part of the two-thirds who view themselves as advanced when it comes to IT adoption or among those who lag, all midsize firms cite product reliability, product performance, and competitive pricing as the top reasons for choosing their primary IT vendor.
Although midsize businesses clearly want to adopt new, innovative business strategies, make changes required to improve their performance, and partner with an IT provider who can help advance their business strategy, they still face substantial challenges to executing against those goals. Not surprisingly, a key barrier, despite increasing budgets, is cost. This is cited by 58% of respondents as being one of the top barriers to achieving their key IT priorities. Difficulty implementing new technology also represents a top challenge worldwide.
Source: “Inside the Midmarket: a 2011 Perspective,” IBM Worldwide Study 2011