Enterprises Planning Expansion Worry Over Connectivity, Expereo Finds

A clear majority of businesses have a positive outlook for the next 12 months, despite the global macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental challenges.

This is one of the findings of new research from managed network solutions provider Expereo, which also found that technology investments are being planned to fast track enterprise growth. This growth can include expansion into new markets.

Expereo is not the only firm to highlight that enterprises are planning to increase their IT spending. In April analyst house Gartner found that despite the ongoing economic uncertainty, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.6 trillion in 2023, an increase of 5.5 percent from 2022.

Expereo research

Now the new research from Expereo of global CIOs added a bit more detail to this.

It found that large global enterprises have an increased focus on technology investment to fuel growth through global expansion.

Tech budgets are growing across security, digital, cloud and network. Around 72 percent of businesses have committed to, or are leaning toward, increased technology investment.

The Expereo research contacted over 650 CIOs in global enterprises across Europe, US and APAC and it showed that half of global CIOs (51 percent) have secured increased technology budgets specifically to deliver growth and overcome existing challenges.

The research also found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of businesses have a positive outlook about the next 12 months, up from 52 percent a year ago.

Last year environment and climate change were a top concern and will be a top concern 12 months from now, Expereo found.

But today security threats are the most pressing concern.

There is also concern at financial market volatility, but this is a low-priority issue in the past and is expected to fade again.

One of the big challenges facing CIOs is gaining access to suitable talent and skills, with 49 percent of businesses struggling to find cybersecurity experts; whilst 41 percent have trouble finding artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) experts.

Interestingly Expereo found that businesses are starting to close these gaps by upskilling internal teams.

Expansion and connectivity

Expereo also found that secure connectivity is a common concern for businesses seeking to expand. When entering new markets, procuring connectivity is a main concern for 43 percent of businesses.

“As organisations focus on driving growth through global expansion, there are clearly complexities and challenges to overcome,” said Ben Elms, Chief Revenue Officer at Expereo.

Ben Elms, chief revenue officer at Expereo.
Image credit Expereo

“The business-critical nature of connectivity in today’s world combined with an increasingly complex landscape – from security, regulation, skills and often challenging physical and geo-political infrastructure – mean it’s no easy task,” said Elms

“However, it is achievable. Those that find a way to simplify, automate and scale their operations will be in the best position to reap the rewards and growth that this can deliver.”

Digging further into the Expereo research, it showed that global CIOs describe their organisations’ attitudes to growth as optimistic (34 percent) and nearly a third (30 percent) as ambitious for the next 12 months.

Over half (51 percent) of respondents claim global boards have already increased technology budgets to help drive this.

Security (61 percent), automation and analytics (59 percent), and 5G (58 percent) were identified as the top three areas set for increased tech investments globally in the next four months, closely followed by public/hybrid cloud (55 percent), Edge computing and IoT (both 54 percent), SD-WAN (45 percent) and SASE (51 percent).

CIOs claim that this investment will drive global growth by ensuring prioritisation of increased innovation (50 percent), increased automation (47 percent) and expansion into new markets (45 percent).

New markets

Almost half (46 percent) of CIOs in the Expereo research claimed that establishing and managing connectivity in new markets is the single most critical factor in ensuring successful global expansion, and 42 percent said that their board views global connectivity as a business asset critical to growth, but there are challenges that need to be overcome.

Key markets identified for growth saw North America and Europe dominate the top five.

North America (37 percent) took the throne, followed by Western Europe (32 percent), Eastern Europe (26 percent), Northern Europe (25 percent) and South America (25 percent).

Expereo pointed out that given that the IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook Report showed that growth projections in advanced economies was 1.4 percent for 2024, while emerging and developing markets was 4.2 percent, it was surprising that neither the Greater China Area or Central & South Asia appear in the top five priority regions for growth.

Each includes two of the fastest growing economies in the world, namely China and India.

“Realising the growth opportunities that global expansion can deliver will be critical to the world economy in these challenging times,” said Ben Elms.

“CIOs need to completely focus on supercharging this strategic growth wherever they are doing business in the world; not grappling with unnecessary logistical and connectivity challenges. That’s what Expereo is here for.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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