TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2011 — Canadian private companies are optimistic about growth opportunities and are investing in mobile computing and social media to help them achieve their growth aspirations, according to findings from a PwC survey.
According to the survey, the top five areas of technology investment over the next 1-3 years are:
“Having come out of the other side of the recession stronger, private companies realized they had to keep improving in order to keep thriving in this new unstable environment,” says Tahir Ayub, Canadian leader of PwC’s Private Company Services practice. “The big difference in the past few years is that private companies now realize that you have to invest in leading edge technology to advance your business, despite slower economic times.”
The study shows that the top objectives for investing in technology over the next 12 months are:
“Because of today’s rapid rate of change, companies need to innovate at a faster pace to keep up with the changing demands in the market, globalization and enhanced customer expectations,” says Philip Grosch, national leader, technology consulting, PwC. “As the speed of change accelerates, the ability to be flexible as an organization to support that change in a cost-effective fashion becomes pretty critical.”
One area where private companies canincrease their competitiveness is in the area of cloud computing. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they would be investing in cloud computing over the next one to three years.
“Traditionally complex applications such as CRM, finance, or HR applications have been an expensive undertaking that only large organizations could afford. Now they are available to companies on a subscription basis, which means very little, if any upfront capital investment. That changes the game for a lot of private companies,” says Grosch.
Forward-thinking companies are exploring avenues to use mobile technology to create better ways of servicing their customers. They are capitalizing on the power of mobile capabilities to build multichannel relationships with them.
“This is becoming a fairly understood and evolved marketplace, but there is still a lot of growth to come,” says Grosch. “The piece of mobile computing that hasn’t evolved as much, but is now evolving very quickly, is how to drive efficiency within your enterprise using social media. And this is where the power of mobile and tablet technology is starting to have significant implications.”
Although most organizations today have customer-facing social media strategies, innovative companies are increasingly interested in using social media to create an internal community that gives everyone within the organization access to its collective knowledge.
“Mobile computing is the new standard for business and those private companies that haven’t adopted the technology risk missing out on having a fully-productive, efficient workforce and the ability to attract and retain new talent coming into the workforce: the digital natives,” says Aayaz Pira, vice president, technology consulting, PwC. “These people have grown up with mobile technology and fully expect to be able to access and use it at work. If you want to attract talent that is motivated and wants to deliver on your core business objectives, you have to support those objectives with new technology that allows people to be effective.”
In the report, Pira offers some best practices for companies to consider when creating a mobile strategy:
About the Business Insights Survey of Canadian Private Companies
The seventh annual Business Insights Survey examines issues affecting Canadian private companies. In the summer of 2011, over 300 leaders of Canadian private companies completed the survey from a broad range of industries. In September 2011, PwC commissioned a supplemental survey of respondents. 135 of the original 306 participated. The sample is concentrated around four provinces — British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
Please visit www.pwc.com/ca/businessinsights for more information on the Business Insights 2011 survey, including:
About PwC’s Private Company Services (PCS)
More than 65% of PwC Canada's clients are private companies, ranging from high net worth individuals to owner-managed family businesses and large, professionally-managed businesses. PwC's Private Company Services (PCS) group is a dedicated team of business advisors who help private company owners resolve day-to-day business issues and achieve long-term success. PCS offers the perspective of a third party with professional industry knowledge, business consulting, tax and accounting expertise. For more information about PwC's Private Company Services, please visit www.pwc.com/ca/private.
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