Canadian private companies are bullish about investing in mobile and social media

Upward trend imageIf you are a startup in the mobile computing or social media space, you might want focus your sales and marketing efforts on other private Canadian companies. Yesterday, PwC Canada released the results of a recent survey which shows that, despite a tough economy, Canadian private companies are optimistic about growth opportunities and plan to invest in mobile computing and social media to advance their business.

“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 PwC survey indicates that the top five areas of technology investment over the next 1-3 years will be:

  • 43% mobile computing
  • 42% social media/networking
  • 34% next-generation data management & analytics
  • 33% information security
  • 21% cloud computing

The secret is making your products and services in these categories more affordable for private companies. A great way to do that is by offering a subscription-based pricing model. This “means very little, if any upfront capital investment. That changes the game for a lot of private companies,” says Philip Grosch, national leader, technology consulting, PwC.

How can you convince private Canadian companies to invest in your products and services? The study shows that the top objectives for investing in technology over the next 12 months include:

  • Make business processes more efficient/effective – 57%
  • Attract new customers – 50%
  • Drive growth and competitiveness – 47%
  • Reduce enterprise costs – 44%

“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 Grosch. “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.”

Aayaz Pira, vice president, technology consulting, at PwC suggests that investments in mobile and social media are also necessary for private Canadian companies to attract the best talent. “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 Pira.

In the PwC report, Pira suggests best practices when creating a mobile strategy for your company:

  • When going mobile, there has to be a balance between an internal and external focus.
  • Be an early-adopter.
  • Don’t go big bang. Start small and build.
  • Don’t get tied to any one technology.
  • Involve the end users up front.
  • Know your end-goal.  Process improvement has to translate to increased sales and revenue, improved quality, better controlled costs or improved employee or customer engagement.

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