A recent market survey conducted by Cheops shows that there is still a lot of room for Belgian medium-sized companies to take a more strategic, ambitious approach to their IT. However, right now many companies are facing some important IT choices that could help them increase the adaptability and resilience of their business.
IT should and can be more than a way to automate with a view to cutting costs. In order to continue to operate in an increasingly online and international business environment, it is crucial for companies to continue to innovate and invest, even in difficult financial times.
For example, medium-sized companies can also use the latest technologies to improve their customer service or customer experience, or to offer their employees the possibility of working flexibly from home or at other locations.
Priority not given to innovation
However, most medium-sized companies are not planning to make investments here right away, as revealed by the market survey by Cheops. When spending the IT budget, priority is mainly given to improving and streamlining processes and reducing operational costs, while a better customer experience does not even appear on the wish list and barely 30% also want to use IT to develop new services and products.
Call in external help
Paradoxically, the companies surveyed do regard IT as a strategic activity that supports their operating results and growth. The problem often remains a lack of financing combined with hard-to-find IT staff.
So simply keeping the IT running takes up a great deal of time and budget. This leaves fewer resources and less time for more strategic IT projects that accelerate digital transformation and enhance customer experience.
How can they resolve this situation? In many cases, companies regard outsourcing to an external IT partner as an effective solution for gaining access to the necessary IT infrastructure and expertise.
IT as a business enabler
As long as they do not feel paralysed by a lack of financial strength, medium-sized companies are certainly a match for larger businesses when it comes to IT innovation. In any case, by taking its ambition to the next level, the medium-sized enterprise sector could deploy IT much more strongly as a business enabler to increase the adaptability and resilience of its businesses.