Friday, June 10, 2011

Turning up midmarket growth engines in Massachusetts

Guest Post by Ed Abrams, Vice President, Midmarket Strategy, IBM

Did you know that together, midsize and small companies are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP? They represent more than 90 percent of all businesses and employ over 90 percent of the world's workforce. In the United States, midsize businesses -- those with 100-1,000 employees -- are the engines of our economic growth, and innovative technology is the fuel.

Opportunity is knocking for Massachusetts-based midsize companies. More and more forwardlooking companies are investing in innovation and technology to transform their businesses, drive profitability, and expand into new areas. According to a new global study of chief information officers by IBM, 72 percent of CIOs at outperforming midsize organizations are focused on integrating business and technology to drive innovation.

The top technology priorities for these companies whose growth is outpacing the industry are business analytics, mobility solutions, and cloud. And the good news is that business analytics, cloud, and predictive technologies, once reserved for big companies with big budgets, are now more affordable and easier to use for midsize firms. The study shows that 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed identified analytics -- the ability to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" -- as their top priority investment area, while their demand for cloud computing increased 50 percent since 2009.

With a business analytics solution, firms can use existing data to gain new insights and a deeper understanding of past business performance that can then help them make smarter decisions about their business and also help forecast future business trends.

For example Papa Gino’s Pizzeria, based in Boston, chose an analytics solution from a local IBM Business Partner, QueBit, to integrate and analyze the tons of retail and operational data the chain collects daily from numerous franchise stores. With timely access to trends through easy-to-use dashboards, district managers and regional vice presidents can anticipate staffing needs, increase the efficiency of product replenishment, improve accuracy of pizza-delivery-time estimates, and define long-term business strategies.

Massachusetts is an ecosystem rich with the people, connections, institutions, and collaborations that feed the innovation economy. The Mass Tech Hub is home to more than 10,000 technology companies, it has more venture capital available per capita than anywhere in the nation, and innovators file more patents per capita than anywhere in the world. IBM solutions developed right here in Massachusetts -- from retail to electronic banking -- are helping to advance the Commonwealth's economic prosperity and quality of life for citizens around the globe. We look forward to continuing to build a smarter planet together.

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