4 challenges facing mid-market businesses

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many businesses in a variety of ways, worldwide, it is certain the pandemic has rapidly forced both the speed of change and the drive for investment in digital transformation. A new MYOB commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting has found that while many mid-market businesses accelerated the digital enablement of customer facing channels through the pandemic, the majority of business have failed to reap the benefits of modern and sophisticated cloud business management solutions.

Cloud has become a foundational technology for businesses today. Yet more than half (54%) of midmarket businesses continue to host their current to host their current business and people management solutions on-premises. The study consequently found four key challenges facing mid-market businesses today.

1. Doing business as usual is costing mid-market businesses

The study found that many of the solutions still being used today are siloed, and they fail to utilize the flexibility of cloud-based delivery. These solutions do not meet the needs of modern businesses, and they instead hamper productivity with poor user experiences. Businesses that are hesitant to take advantage of modern technology not only halt growth, but also waste resources and incur unnecessary costs each year. At an employee level, decision makers in the study recognised, employees waste an average 12.5 hours per week on manual and repetitive tasks because of outdated solutions and practices.

2. Business growth is taking a hit

Findings uncovered disparate and manual systems negatively affect sales growth.

Decision-makers recognised the negative impact of outdated solutions on sales growth from limited business development time, insufficient customer targeting for high-value strategic customer, lengthy manual sales processes, and poor customer experiences.

Mid-market businesses that continue to rely on desktop platforms or piecemeal integrations for their core systems are missing out on growth opportunities. Fully unified cloud platforms help these businesses simplify processes, connect data, reduce manual tasks, and unlock growth. One participant from the study quoted,

“Legacy solutions force us to spend more time updating rather than analysing data”

HR Manager – Australia Manufacturing Company

3. Businesses are falling behind their competitors

The MYOB study also revealed that more than 50% of current business and people management solutions are still hosted on-premises with their siloed or make-shift integrations across separate solutions. Put simply, businesses that fail to digital their processes and transform their core business systems risk falling behind competitors that do, and competition doesn’t wait for you.

Midmarket organisations using outdated solutions are already at a disadvantage. Decision-makers need to balance the conversation on costs with focus on the short and long-term efficiencies modern solutions bring. A new approach to business and people management solutions is needed.

4. Business leaders aren’t driving positive change

Lack of leadership awareness is a significant challenge that limits midmarket organisations’ ability to improve their business and people management solutions, which results in a lack of prioritisation from business. Employees can’t follow what they can’t see. Organisations need leaders with a clear vision and call for action to inspire change.

However, leaders are historically unaware of the link between operations software and business goals. This has lead to outdated business and people management solutions across midmarket organisations.

One participant in the study stated that “people remain the biggest challenge when it comes to making changes to our organisations business and people management solutions. We often slow gown the rate of change to not overwhelm our people.

Business Improvement Manager – Australia Construction Company

Overall the study reveals that unified, cloud-based business and people management systems are vital to a mid-market organisation’s ability to thrive and succeed. Midmarket organisations lose millions each year to siloed, on-premises solutions that aren’t fit for purpose. Devising a clear change management plan that aligns to pain points within their business will build organisations’ momentum and drive change.

Read the full Forrester Consulting MYOB study here.