Lack of tech investment could hinder growth

Published on the 14/09/2016 | Written by Newsdesk

Tech investment

Businesses in emerging markets could steal a march on developed world operators…

ERP vendor Epicor has released research which points to businesses in developed markets risk falling behind those in emerging ones. That’s because the latter are currently placing greater importance on leveraging technology to fuel growth.

The global research, conducted by MORAR Consulting, questioned some 1,800 business leaders from 12 countries around the world. It found that 54 percent of emerging market business executives cited “technology leadership” as a significant growth factor, compared to just 36 percent of those in developed countries and 37 percent in Australia, specifically.

It said executives in emerging markets also recognise the importance of flexible technology and business systems in fuelling growth, and are putting themselves in a stronger position when it comes to preparing for international expansion.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Of those surveyed globally, 75 percent of businesses in emerging markets agree that flexible working practices and technologies, such as mobile working, are significant in helping retain key people, compared to just 62 percent of those in developing countries.
  • Businesses in developed markets are less likely to see the value of using the latest technology to free people up from mundane tasks, such as repetitive invoice processing and manual stock counting. Some 65 percent of business leaders in developed markets said this was a significant contributor to their staff retention, compared to 75 percent of business leaders in emerging markets.

In a statement, Epicor regional VP ANZ Vince Randall said business executives in more developed markets could be in fact hindering growth, “Unless they continue to prioritise strategic investments into critical technology and working processes that can increase their agility.”

Randall said there is a necessity to invest in moving beyond aging business systems that are inadequate to meet present-day and future business requirements. “More developed markets are often considered beacons of technology innovation but they need to practice what they preach. This is also increasingly important in order to attract and empower the next-generation workforce in the workplace. Millennials, after all, expect to use the latest technologies in the most flexible ways.”

The research showed that 38 percent of business leaders in Australia said that expansion into new industries and product areas was a main priority for their business over the coming year. To support this, 61 percent of Australian business leaders recognised that ‘cutting-edge technology/IT’ was a significant factor in the retention of key staff.

In the same survey, 40 percent of all respondents identified technology leadership as a significant factor to help stimulate growth.

Yet, said Epicor, these findings suggest that unless businesses in developed markets continue to prioritise investment in technology they may struggle to meet their targets, with emerging market competition set to outstrip them with the latest technologies and processes.

Defining ‘the latest technologies and processes’, or indeed, ‘cutting edge technology’, is no mean feat; there is no ruler marked off with gradations for the ‘cutting edge’, much less one with ‘latest’ indentations along its length. It is therefore valid to wonder how the definitions of just what constitutes ‘cutting edge’ might vary from one business executive to another.

In any event, Epicor said organisations need to be flexible in order to adjust to market pressures as they grow.

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