Ready to grow your business?

So you think your business got caught in an economic downturn and there’s not much you can do about it? Well, think again!

Quote [The 2012 Gartner-Forbes survey of board directors shows that while they presume ongoing economic challenges, they are willing to invest in growth, especially in IT. The survey, which was conducted in the first quarter of 2012 with 175 board directors primarily in the U.S. and UK, asked them to rate each of 30 different choices from extremely low importance to extremely high importance.

Their top five priorities were:

  1. Attracting new customers
  2. Retaining and enhancing existing customers
  3. Focusing on core competencies
  4. Maintaining competitive advantage
  5. Fostering innovation

The End of business us usual 

Focus on Growth

These forward-looking and proactive attitudes were made despite the fact that more than half of the respondents are preparing for a market recession. It says that the investments they plan to make are essential to growth and even survival, and that they are willing to throw the investment gauntlet down now, rather than later. This raises risks, but it supports a prior Gartner finding that, in a recession, any changes that occur in market position in an industry are likely to persist. This means that organizations must weigh the defensive risks of inaction versus the offensive risks of action. This year’s survey shows that, in the face of highly publicized risks of a European banking crisis, a developing U.S. sovereign debt crisis and a China slowdown, 40 percent of board directors believe that the worst is behind them and that the economy is on the upswing. This compares to 50 percent who said that things are tough and will be for a while. Counting the 10 percent who believe the worst is still ahead, almost two-thirds of board directors expect tough times ahead as a minimum condition for the economy.

Read more in our next post on how to balance cost versus value and get your IT basics right.

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