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Tech investment set to fast-track enterprise growth

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Large enterprises are focussed on increased technology investment to fuel growth through global expansion, new research reveals.

New research of global CIOs by Expereo reveals that enterprises are moving ‘Faster to the Future’ with an increased focus on technology investment to fuel growth through global expansion.  The research of over 650 CIOs in global enterprises across Europe, US and APAC shows that half of global CIOs have secured increased technology budgets specifically to deliver growth and overcome existing challenges.

Positive news for over a third who claim that their global business ambitions are constrained by legacy connectivity and management systems. It also identifies that organisations may be missing growth opportunities by failing to prioritise regions with some of the world’s fastest growing economies, due to perceived complexity and challenges to market entry.

“As organisations focus on driving growth through global expansion, there are clearly complexities and challenges to overcome,” Ben Elms, chief revenue officer at Expereo, said. “The business-critical nature of connectivity in today’s world combined with an increasingly complex landscape – from security, regulation, skills and often challenging physical and geo-political infrastructure – mean it’s no easy task. However, it is achievable. Those that find a way to simplify, automate and scale their operations will be in the best position to reap the rewards and growth.”

The future is bright

According to the research, global CIOs describe their organisations’ attitudes to growth as optimistic (34 per cent) and nearly a third (30 per cent) as ambitious for the next 12 months. Over half (51 per cent) of respondents claim global boards have already increased technology budgets to help drive this.

Security (61 per cent), automation and analytics (59 per cent), and 5G (58 per cent) were identified as the top three areas set for increased tech investments globally in the next four months, closely followed by public/hybrid cloud (55 per cent), Edge computing and IoT (both 54 per cent), SD-WAN (45 per cent) and SASE (51 per cent).  CIOs claim that this investment will drive global growth by ensuring prioritisation of increased innovation (50 per cent), increased automation (47 per cent) and expansion into new markets (45 per cent).

Almost half of CIOs claimed that establishing and managing connectivity in new markets is the single most critical factor in ensuring successful global expansion, and 42 per cent said that their board views global connectivity as a business asset critical to growth, but there are challenges that need to be overcome.

In fact, when asked specifically about the biggest challenge to delivering global growth in new regions, 37 per cent said that effectively establishing connectivity in new regions is one of the major challenges in their role, 37 per cent a major challenge for their organisation and 35 per cent that their organisations’ business ambitions are constrained by legacy connectivity. Additional challenges identified were security environments (35 per cent), skills and resource retention (35 per cent), complicated physical and geopolitical infrastructure (33 per cent), regulation and compliance (32 per cent), and legacy systems and local knowledge (both 31 per cent).

Complexity an obstacle to growth

Responses indicated that global enterprises may be failing to prioritise the fastest growing economies due to perceived complexities.

When asked about where their organisation saw the biggest opportunity for growth, North America and Europe dominated the top five. North America (37 per cent) took the throne, followed by Western Europe (32 per cent), Eastern Europe (26 per cent), Northern Europe (25 per cent) and South America (25 per cent). Although South America appears in the top five, it also ranks as the most technologically challenging region to do business in regarding the local knowledge of providers (29 per cent), agility (28 per cent), robust connectivity (28 per cent), scalability (27 per cent), and performance visibility (28 per cent). Interestingly it is also seen as a more challenging security environment than China – 27 per cent compared to China’s 26 per cent.

Given that the IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook Report showed that growth projections in advanced economies was 1.4 per cent for 2024, while emerging and developing markets was 4.2 per cent, it is surprising that neither the Greater China Area or Central & South Asia appear in the top five priority regions for growth.  Each includes two of the fastest growing economies in the world – China and India. Perhaps this is due to both appearing consistently in the top five most challenging regions in terms of local technology provider knowledge (25 per cent and 22 per cent respectively), agility (26 per cent and 24 per cent), robust connectivity (25 per cent and 23 per cent), security (26 per cent and 25 per cent) and performance visibility (both 25 per cent).

Ben Elms continued; “Realising the growth opportunities that global expansion can deliver will be critical to the world economy in these challenging times. CIOs need to completely focus on supercharging this strategic growth wherever they are doing business in the world; not grappling with unnecessary logistical and connectivity challenges.”

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