Guest Commentator: Michele Juliana, Principal, Technology and Management Consulting, RSM US LLP @RSMUSLLP

How can Middle Market companies take advantage of technology to help take their business to the next level?

Everyone is talking about digital transformation these days, but at RSM our question is always what does this really mean for middle market companies and how can they take advantage of affordable technology to achieve their growth goals. The heart of the discussion lies in identifying your business as a technology-driven organization — regardless of your industry or product. Technology must be viewed as a key part of your strategic plan, an investment rather than just an operating cost, and represented by an important seat at the table in your leadership planning discussions.

Important concepts to understand and consider in developing your digital transformation strategy include:

  • Internet of Things
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobility

The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to an interconnection of devices including sensors which can capture tremendous amounts of data. These “smart devices” and the data collected through them are transforming many industries — including the consumer home market, transportation, health care, building maintenance, and cities — in addition to significant advances in manufacturing and distribution processes. As the data is collected, machine learning and predictive analytics can be leveraged to predict behavior, adjust resources, and identify areas of remediation and optimization throughout a work process. Access to this information via mobile devices is expected and increasingly a core element of any technology being deployed.

All of these capabilities need to be closely intertwined with your core business applications, including the systems which support your accounting, sales, marketing, service, distribution, and manufacturing. Integrated systems taking advantage of cloud technology can provide many of these capabilities at an affordable cost with the requisite security features which are so critical today.

For middle market companies, it’s important to evaluate your business processes and look for technology platforms built for mid-sized, growing businesses with scalable and flexible pricing, rapid time to implement, ease of integration with other applications, and regular updates to stay current with continually changing technology. Partnering with the right software vendors and technology advisors can allow you to stay current and even ahead of the curve without continually having to evaluate technology and implement new s