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Mid-market IT priorities in 2018: Recalibrating on the road to digital transformation

Big challenges in the form of Brexit and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are impacting UK organisations of all shapes and sizes in 2018, so one year on from our Mid-market IT priorities in 2017 report we were curious to discover whether mid-market IT leaders had succeeded in securing their predicted budget increases, or if they have been impacted by the unsettling business environment.

We therefore conducted a new survey to see how mid-market IT decision makers priorities have evolved, the new barriers they are coming up against, what’s driving their IT infrastructure investments for the future and how confident they feel confident about their digital transformation journeys.

Business growth remains high on the agenda of the firms we surveyed and it’s no wonder as the mid-market EU-4 (UK, Germany, France and Italy) is still set to generate a third of private sector revenue and employ a third of each country’s workforce – contributing €1.11 trillion.

Meanwhile the other two biggest mid-market priorities have changed this year to include workforce productivity and digital transformation – both of which are integral to enable organisations to reach revenue expectations. Security is also a big consideration, yet there is acknowledgment that steps being taken to mitigate threats require improvement.

A lack of buy-in to digital transformation

One of the most interesting insights we saw from our data is that even though digital transformation is classified as a priority for the IT manager, it appears the benefits are being overlooked:

  • Only 17% agree that digital transformation will enable them to better support customers
  • Just 16% believe that it will help them to remain competitive
  • Nearly a third (29%) think middle management is standing in the way of innovation
  • Less than one in ten (8%) feel their workforce is ready to embrace digital transformation

Recruitment and technology gaps

As for mid-market budgets this year, our research shows that only 64% of mid-sized businesses expect to grow their IT budgets, compared to 77% last year. Furthermore, one in four (down from one in three last year) now find it harder to recruit staff with the appropriate skills and qualifications.

Yet they are under pressure to deliver new collaboration tools, improve productivity and enhance security defences with legacy technology and turbulent workforce cultures. With employees increasingly demanding access to on-the-go, easy to use technology in the workplace, ranking the three most-valued advanced collaboration technologies as single collaboration applications for meetings, IoT integration and personal video communications.

Opportunities for 2018 and beyond

To move forward, digital transformation has to be bought into, driven by, and integrated into the whole organisation. It’s also essential that companies don’t feel held back by legacy systems or uncomfortable experimenting with new technologies. Risk and costs can be reduced with the use of managed service providers, giving mid-market companies access to a host of applications and software to support their respective digital transformation journeys without needing to make existing structures immediately redundant.

To find out more you can download the full report here.