Outdated systems cost mid-market millions


30th August, 2021

Outdated business systems costing mid-market millions

A recent study by Forrester and MYOB finds more than half of mid-market businesses continue to use outdated technology and processes.

Fifty-four percent of business decision makers in Australia and New Zealand say they continue to host business and people management solutions on-premises, thereby missing out on the benefit of modern solutions.

The findings are detailed in ‘Seizing advantage: The technology pivot ANZ businesses must make’ conducted by Forrester Consulting, which MYOB recently commissioned to evaluate current business and people management solutions in mid-market businesses, their challenges, and future needs.

Key findings from the study:

  • Mid-market firms reported an average 28% of extra costs from wasted hours and productivity due to inefficient business and people management solutions
  • Around 45% of solutions are reported to be siloed, making data-based insights more difficult and leading to lower visibility overall
  • Over one third (35%) cite a lack of awareness from leadership, leading to a lack of priotisation as a major blocker in moving to modern solutions

To develop the study, Forrester conducted an online survey with 420 respondents from mid-market businesses accompanied by seven interviews across Australia and New Zealand.

Key findings include how modern business and people management solutions miss the mark, as well as giving scale to the cost of outdated solutions.

In fact, some mid-market businesses could be losing roughly $2.7 million a year in lost productivity stemming from manual and repetitive tasks as a result of outdated or inefficient systems. A case for change is also made, with the report presenting ‘The Unified Platform Approach’ as a way forward for more complex organisations in need of business and people management solutions.

Millions in lost productivity

The research shows some businesses may be losing around 12.5 hours per staff member, per week as a result of their tech.

And that means a business with 100 staff could be facing millions in lost productivity a year.

MYOB enterprise head of go-to-market, Valantis Vais, said that when you consider the lost productivity across the mid-market sector, as well as lost growth opportunities, outdated and fragmented business systems could be costing the economy hundreds of millions.

“Mid-market businesses could become the other engine room of the Australian economy. By tackling this productivity problem, these businesses could be helping bring down Australia’s unemployment rate, drive wages growth and boost our nation’s GDP,” Vais recently told The Age.

“However, rather than grab the opportunity in front of them and gain a competitive edge, many are lagging behind their international peers and missing out on a chance to grow or improve their bottom line – mainly because they’ve let inertia take hold.”

The report identifies a trend towards software-as-a-service (Saas) solutions kicked off in the 2010s and saw many mid-market firms embracing contemporary solutions — but the evolution towards fully integrated, cloud-based systems was never completed.

“The study has really revealed a tale of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’,” said Vais.

“Businesses that have made the change grow 3.2 times faster and have a positive impact on employee productivity within six to 12 months of changing their solution, while the remaining one in two reported how their systems provide poor customer experiences.

“Forty-five percent said their systems were siloed or disconnected, making it difficult to generate valuable insights and make data-led decisions.”

As a result, disparate, older systems are making an impact on top-line growth.

“Legacy solutions hold businesses back in so many ways: lost growth opportunities, unnecessary cost, poor employee and customer experiences,” said Vais.

“On-premise is being replaced by a unified cloud platform; the window to pivot and digitise is rapidly closing as those who start early move further and further ahead.”

The Unified Platform Approach: Beyond systems integration

The report’s suggested solution, ‘The Unified Platform Approach’ is something that Vais believes is new to the mid-market business segment, and should represent a radical rethinking of business system integration.

That is, instead of solving discrete problems with independent solutions that then need to talk to one another, businesses should begin to acquire solutions that accomplish a larger range of functions.

“The approach to date has been to build out an integrated capability resulting in a plethora of add-on solutions custom-engineered to create an overall solution,” Vais explained.

“A unified platform is modular and designed to be extended, allowing participants to collaborate and connect into a broader ecosystem so all functions have a simplified workflow experience.”

In short, a business and people management system designed for a reduced cost of implementation, maintenance and daily operation, in order to reduce the burden on teams.

“The best part of this approach is you have an adaptive, resilient system that supports creativity.

“The technology that enables this is ‘low-code, no-code’ builds that enable businesses to enjoy the benefits of integrated data and workflows but avoid the complexity, effort and cost associated with bespoke integrations or cumbersome customisations.”

Download your copy of MYOB’s new study on the mid-market, Seizing advantage: The technology pivot ANZ businesses must make for further details, or sign up for MYOB’s upcoming webinar to discuss the findings, here.