How can midsize organizations work smarter in an economic recession? 

Whether it’s time, money or people, midsized enterprises (MSEs) are feeling the squeeze, with ongoing economic fluctuations and talk of a pending recession. Point in…

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Daniela Santarossa

September 5, 20236 minutes read

Male professional looking at graphs on a laptop to analyze economic recession.

Whether it’s time, money or people, midsized enterprises (MSEs) are feeling the squeeze, with ongoing economic fluctuations and talk of a pending recession. Point in case: a recent Gartner® report shows that 75 percent or more of MSE CIOs will experience shrinking budgets in absolute economic terms this year.[1] 

The common approach: do more with less. Yet, this sends a message to employees that productivity expectations are on the rise while supporting resources (personnel and technology) will shrink. Not exactly a motivating mantra.

Instead of emphasizing output and the need to produce more, more, more, it’s important to look at current workplace solutions and whether they are helping, or hurting, business operations.

  • Where can efficiencies be gained?
  • Where can we remove bottlenecks?
  • What manual processes are slowing us down?  

By leaning on technology to enable talent to work smarter (not harder), MSEs can be better prepared for a potential recession and the challenges that come with it. By creating an improved employee experience that leads to new productivity gains, organizations may successfully do more with less.

Here are four questions to get you started.

1. Is our technology future-proof?

Look around to assess how the workplace solutions you have in place today are being used and how well they can adapt to an uncertain future. During times of economic uncertainty and recession, it’s critical to be able to pivot and adapt using technology solutions that are quicker and simpler to deploy, configure, manage and use—helping to reduce the cost to the business and improve employee productivity.

For organizations with on-prem or hybrid environments, future-proofing can mean migrating some or all of your applications to the cloud or shifting to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, starting with employee productivity and collaboration tools. A survey from 451 Research shows that 73 percent of IT professionals either somewhat (46%) or completely (27%) agree that SaaS is the preferred deployment model for new applications.[2]

Modernizing applications to boost staying power is a critical part of digital transformation, but the reality is that not every organization is ready to make a radical or rapid transition to the cloud. By taking a hybrid approach and using cloud-based applications to address specific use cases, there are huge benefits to be gained. In the case of cloud content management, the focus is not just on moving content to the cloud but being able to integrate and surface the right content within the context of key business processes—making content more usable and accessible and processes more efficient.

2. Where can we reduce digital friction?    

At most organizations, content remains scattered across multiple systems, with 47 percent of digital workers struggling to find information or data needed to effectively perform their jobs.[3] Therefore, it’s important to reduce areas of digital friction, identifying where employees use unnecessary time, effort and resources to get their work done and maximizing investments in existing tools that are delivering desired productivity results.

With technology largely or fully replacing in-office interaction for many workers, MSEs need to consider how workplace applications impact the digital employee experience. When done right, fully supporting remote and hybrid work, secure collaboration tools can boost an employee’s desire to stay loyal to a company.

Meet teams where they are already working, delivering needed information, in context, to the applications employees rely on most. By leveraging complementary content management solutions that easily integrate with Microsoft® 365, SAP®, Salesforce®, Google Workspace and other key business applications, MSEs can reduce digital friction and improve the employee experience by eliminating the need to switch between applications. In addition to expanding the use of existing everyday apps, organizations can better utilize existing information by connecting content to workflows for new information insights.

3. How can we improve sales and service?  

Maintaining optimal sales and service operations is critical when facing an economic recession. Yet many teams still struggle with disconnected processes, an increasing volume of mismanaged inbound information and incomplete information flows, hurting sales opportunities and customer experiences. Salesforce found that 72 percent of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-selling administrative tasks, with 8 percent spent on manual entry of customer and sales information.[4]

By consolidating on a single cloud content management system connected directly to Salesforce, MSEs can securely manage Salesforce content in the cloud to not only alleviate IT burden, but also transform sales and service processes.

With the automated capture, classification and upload of documents from various sources, information is routed to the right people and processes, providing a 360-degree customer view to shorten resolution times, reduce manual workloads and improve how Salesforce is used.

4. Where can we lean on AI?

AI has the power to bring speed, efficiency and digital transformation to MSE sales, R&D, finance, engineering, and marketing operations while allowing employees to be more strategic and valued. The right AI tools, when leveraged effectively, can spur growth and innovation—music to a company’s ears if a recession looms.

AI can transform content management for MSEs and dramatically improve how employees interact with content. By embedding AI solutions into content platforms, organizations create better experiences for content users, such as using conversational search to quickly find related content, leveraging personalized recommendations for related content and more quickly creating new business documents based on information across data sources, such as Salesforce and SAP.  The end result: MSEs work smarter armed with smarter information.

Ready to do more with the information, people and technology you have today?
Discover how to power superhuman teams with smarter information.

[1] Gartner® 2023 CIO and Technology Executive Agenda, a Midsize Enterprise Perspective, January 9, 2023

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.   

[2] 451 Research, IT Turns Its Attention to Employee Productivity and its Preference Towards SaaS, 2021

[3] Gartner ® Press Release, Gartner Survey Reveals 47% of Digital Workers Struggle to Find the Information Needed to Effectively Perform Their Jobs, May 10, 2023

[4] Salesforce®, State of Sales Report, Fifth Edition, December 2022

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Daniela Santarossa

Daniela Santarossa is a Director on the Content Services Product Marketing team. She is responsible for our private cloud and public cloud content services platforms. Daniela has 10+ years of experience in the information management and technology space.

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