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Don’t Run Into Growth Before You Can Walk

Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President, International, Epicor | June 20, 2016
Following the Government’s recent push to grow businesses through innovation and technology, Singaporean businesses need to first plan for growth.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Against a rocky economic backdrop, the Singapore government has unveiled a new S$4.5billion Industry Transformation Programme (ITP) to support industries and drive innovation. Facing weaker top-line growth, rising manpower costs and tighter financing, businesses are facing the pressure of succeeding in a more competitive environment. The ITP will support industries through a new phase of economic restructuring and drive innovation - and in doing so, unlock new opportunities for growth.

Spurring growth through technology

In recent years, implementing technology and driving innovation has become synonymous with enabling business growth. In 2011, PwC found that 70 percent of CEOs were investing in IT to become more efficient, and 54 percent were funnelling funds toward growth initiatives that leverage emerging technologies. However, even the best technology can't deliver success without focusing on business strategy and goals. In order to enable profitable growth, it is important that businesses have the right plans in place to support their growth, to complement the Government's supporting initiatives.

According to the findings of a global survey sponsored by Epicor Software, 62 percent of businesses in Singapore found growth challenging in 2015. 78 percent of businesses think that an integrated and effective IT infrastructure is essential to prepare and support enterprises for growth. The Government's ITP is expected to have a significant impact on businesses hoping to adopt technology. However, wouldn't it be too simplistic to expect technology to instantly drive business growth?

Feeling the fear of unplanned growth

The survey revealed that the majority of businesses worry that unplanned growth puts excessive pressure on their operations, thus damaging quality and customer satisfaction. In addition, 57 percent were also concerned with the capability of the IT systems of the business to cope with managing a larger and more complex business model. Taking on large or more complex projects in which they lack the skillset and technology to effectively deliver the service, thus damaging the reputation of their brands was also a major concern.  

From these results, it's clear that for all of our collaborative technologies and connectivity, businesses today remain worlds apart when it comes to the topic of growth and how to deal with the challenges growth brings. Needless to say, for such a simple word, 'growth' is a more complex topic than it seems.

Embarking on the growth journey

How, then, are businesses to prepare for growth, and where does technology fit into the equation? The first step would be to come to a decision on the definition of growth. Some company leaders choose to measure growth in terms of profit, while board members at other businesses see geographic expansion, growth in capacity or even growth in capability of the organisation and its employees as the priority.

 

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