Capital One: Middle Market Prioritizing Investment in Technology, Employee Experience



New research from Capital One and Morning Consult explored how middle market companies are investing in 19 strategic and emerging business priorities over the next one to three years to help meet business goals. The research took into account insight from 400 financial decision-makers from companies with revenues of $20 million to $500 million.

Key Findings

  • Middle market leaders are optimistic about business conditions, and 86% have plans to grow their business by March 2022.
  • Cybersecurity and employee experience will continue to be two top investment priorities for the middle market moving forward.
    • 30% of respondents said that cybersecurity and employee experience/wellness were among their top five priorities.
    • Other top selections included data/data analytics (28%), e-commerce (26%), artificial intelligence (24%), customer experience (24%), cloud migration (24%) and upskilling the current workforce (24%).
  • The middle market has adopted a technology-forward mindset, but a technical skills gap is looming. Despite feeling confident that the workforce has the skills and resources to maximize the benefits new technologies and processes will bring to business, 20% of respondents reported technology integration is the top challenge that keeps them up at night. Others selected implementing/enforcing COVID-19 safety measures (14%), employee recruitment (11%) and employee retention (10%). Respondents also identified skills gaps in management/leadership (32%), data analytics (31%), machine learning (31%), cloud computing (30%) and data science (30%).
  • To overcome the skills gap, the middle market is taking steps to diversify talent pipelines and remove structural and cultural barriers to entry and upskill workforces to help business grow. Nearly a quarter of financial decision-makers anticipated that upskilling their workforce will be among the top drivers of ROI in the next six months (24%) and more than a quarter of leaders anticipated that upskilling workers will drive ROI in the next one to three years (27%).

As noted earlier, the Capital One survey was conducted by Morning Consult among 400 U.S. middle market financial decision-makers representing companies with total annual revenues of $20 million to $500 million. The survey was conducted from an online panel from Sept. 1 to Sept. 9. The margin of error is 5%. The middle market, defined as organizations with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, is responsible for one-third of private sector GDP and employment, according to HBR.


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Terry Mulreany
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