In what could be a positive outlook for the economy, business leaders are upping the ante on technology investment — but they have significant concerns regarding staffing. Those are just two key findings from EisnerAmper’s recent executive survey, which measured the outlook of business leaders throughout the U.S.
Much of the insight from this year’s EisnerAmper’s National Business Summit Transformation Nation – Driving Intelligent Growth survey focused on company footprint, people, and technology.
- Over the next 12 months, executives expect to make investments in technology (65%), human capital (49%), and cybersecurity (44%, up from 30% in the 2020 survey). To a lesser degree, they will invest in training (30%), process efficiencies (26%), real estate (15%), and M&A (9%).
- A majority (53%) do not intend to downsize office space over the next year. A total of 10% plan to increase office size (up from 3% in the 2020 survey). One quarter are undecided, while only 12% will downsize partially or completely (down from 20% in 2020 survey).
- Of those that recently downsized office space, 11% re-invested those savings into technology. A modest 7% was scattered among employee benefits, distributed to the partners, lowered prices, employee bonuses, or donated to charity.
- The biggest risks to respondents over the next 12 months are staff recruitment/retention (37%), taxes/regulation (17%), and economic slowdown (16%). The three least risk factors are cybersecurity (12%), supply chain (8%), and diversity/gender pay gap (1%).
- When asked if companies are having a harder time finding talent now versus 12 months ago, 54% said yes, 26% said no, and did not apply was 20%.
- Respondents shared additional perks used to retain talent, including a hybrid or full-time virtual work model (57%), salary increase (31%), more vacation time (27%), additional bonuses (22%), did nothing (21%), and other (9%).
- Respondents were asked if they have taken steps to improve diversity and inclusion over the past year: 79% said yes, 21% indicated no.
- Recent steps taken to increase cybersecurity include upgraded/invested in new technology (71%), used an outside consultant or third-party provider (47%), and hired a C-suiter (17%).
- Companies that have gone to a hybrid or full-time virtual work model have increased their cybersecurity investment moderately (35%), significantly (21%), not at all (15%), and does not apply (29%).