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IBM Study Finds More Than Half of Midmarket Companies Lack an Integrated Digital Strategy

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IBM Study Finds More Than Half of Midmarket Companies Lack an Integrated Digital Strategy

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 21,2013 /PRNewswire/ An IBM (NYSE: IBM) global study of C-Suite leaders uncovers a surprising fact about small and midsize companies: they may not be as digitally savvy as they'd like.

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The survey's top findings include:

  • More than half of midmarket companies lack an integrated digital strategy.
  • 65% of the midmarket C-Suite business executives recognized that the lack of a cohesive social media plan is the biggest barrier to doing more in the digital space.
  • More than half of respondents also cite the need to better understand how social media fits with other operational priorities, and how to measure its return on investment.

Specifically, midmarket CMOs want to put all the components of a strong digital strategy in place. These components include an increased focus on integrating cross channel touchpoints, analytics to capture customer insights, social networks to foster collaboration, and mobile and cloud to achieve advanced operational efficiencies and attract and market to new customers.

Midmarket CMOs aren't alone in their desire to create an integrated digital strategy. The majority of midmarket CIOs surveyed say they aim to digitize their front offices within the next few years as part of an overall effort to focus more on the customer experience. This digitization includes analyzing data generated from customer interactions via social channels and mobile devices, and identifying emerging trends.

IBM surveyed more than 300 midmarket C-Suite business executives worldwide on a variety of business issues, including the expanding role of customer engagement, organizational management, marketing and economic priorities, and future strategic growth plans.

The study revealed an environment where technology has become the dominant driver of business change, and leaders are moving quickly to open up their organizations. As a result, business leaders are confronting an urgent need for deeper and more meaningful types of collaboration.

Successfully fusing the digital and physical

The survey indicated companies which have successfully fused the digital and physical, including Big Data analytics, mobile and cloud, to achieve transformation were 26% more likely to outperform their rivals.

For instance, Music Mastermind, a Calabasas, CA-based tech startup wanted to provide a way for consumers to create their own digital music content and share it with the world. While many industries have been impacted by the digital age, the music industry in particular has been redefined, with social media and mobile technologies shifting the power from manufacturers, content providers and retailers to the individual music fan. Music fans want to listen to and experience music in their own way, whether via MP3 download, streaming services or videos - anytime and anywhere. To accomplish these goals, the company teamed with an IBM Business Partner, Micro Strategies, to deploy IBM cloud technology to address this business challenge.

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