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Technology becoming central to middle market growth

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Technology becoming central to middle market growth

According to a new report released by Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, middle market companies are turning to technology to help improve their businesses in a variety of unique and innovative ways. New solutions tied to the cloud and mobile are allowing middle market businesses to boost back-office productivity, reach new customers, and reinforce their culture. From the July/August issue of PRESIDENT&CEO Magazine.

The report, assessing the results of a survey of mid-market IT executives, indicates that companies are either already tapping the potential of emerging technologies, or laying the groundwork for their adoption. As ever, the findings also reflect a deliberate, process-oriented approach to the adoption of new technology at middle market firms: careful assess¬ment, pilot testing, evaluation, revision and development.

"Laura McClellan of Gartner issued a bold prediction last year stating that, by 2017, CMO’s will spend more on IT than CIOs."

A new recognition

Deloitte’s report is just the latest in a flurry of research that indicates that, at long last, CIO’s are becoming more central to the overall strategic thrust of middle market businesses. A recent article in CFO magazine (of all places) gives a fairly basic but telling example of how the utilization of technology – specifically the convergence of social media, cloud and mobility – is moving well beyond the old paradigm of merely “making the internal trains run on time” to enhancing sales, customer service and consumer “stickiness,” among other things. 

Boloco also has its own internal social media and has made it a vital part of its business strategy, integrating it into the customer dining experience. “From our Twitter handle to our Facebook page, our goal is for customers to contact us and their friends with positive or negative experiences,” says Patrick Renna, CFO of Boston-based Boloco, a fast-growing chain of fast casual dining restaurants in the Northeastern United States. He provides a few examples: “It could be, ‘I’m @boloco right now and their smoothie is awesome.’ We then hit back with ‘Thanks.’ Or it could be, ‘The new burrito was not so good,’ in which case we can actually hit up that customer while in the restaurant and pick up the tab or give them points on their loyalty card for a free meal next time.”

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