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Midsize companies up their offense in 2011
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  cognos_express cognosxp midsize_companies
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Guest post by Dan Potter. product marketing lead, IBM Cognos Mid-Market Business Unit.
Let’s face it. The last few years have been more than a little challenging. To survive, many midsize companies pulled up their bootstraps and trudged on with a simple mantra: cut costs and gain efficiencies.
But times are changing. Signs of a gradual economic improvement are making midsize companies feel bullish about 2011. In fact, a new focus is emerging as midsize companies are dramatically shifting their efforts to place more emphasis on growth and innovation.
The findings are made clear in the just released IBM study, Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective. When asked about their strategic mindset, 79% of midsize companies cited customers, innovation and growth as their major priorities, with 21% primarily focused on reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Compared with last year’s data, this represents a dramatic shift of more than 30 points.
Moving from a defensive, cost-cutting strategy to an offensive strategy centered on innovation and growth sounds simple. But what practical steps can a midsize company take to put growth and innovation at the top of its strategic and operational agendas?
Many are making better use of the information and resources already available to them. By turning information into actionable business insights they can increase productivity, attract and retain customers and improve competitive positioning – all within a cost-effective business model.
Here are three methods for implementing a forward-looking, growth-based strategy:
1. Make business analytics a top priority. Most companies have a mountain of information that sits idle or is used sporadically. With business analytics solutions you can corral trusted information and make it available to the decision makers who need it. Fast.
2. Join forces with IT. Technology has moved from being a back office function and enabler of cost reduction to a driver of growth and value. Focus on finding the right balance between empowering business users with self-service access and maintaining the control and governance required.
3. Demonstrate value early and often. The demands of today’s “new normal” financial environment require that midsize firms remain focused on efficiency and cost control. This includes finding cost-effective business analytics solutions that help manage costs and drive growth.
Want to get a handle on your company’s current business analytics capabilities? Use this online business analytics ROI assessment tool. And for an easy and affordable entry point into business analytics, check out IBM Cognos Express, an integrated reporting, analysis and planning solution purpose-built for midsize companies.