The mid market faces unique challenges with respect to their IT requirements.
Small business typically have simplistic IT footprints and requirements, with plenty of SaaS solutions available to fill in the gaps. Enterprises and Fortune 500 organizations have massive budgets, in house capabilities via fully staffed & expansive IT departments who are able to properly leverage hyperclouds like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud in order to consolidate their infrastructure, as well as, re-write their applications to be cloud native, and so on.
According to The National Center For The Middle Market
"There are nearly 200,000 U.S. middle market businesses that represent one-third of private sector GDP, employing approximately 44.5 million people. These businesses outperformed through the financial crisis (2007–2010 period) by adding 2.2 million jobs across major industry sectors and U.S. geographies, demonstrating their importance to the overall health of the U.S. economy. They are private and public, family owned, and sole proprietorships, geographically diverse, and span almost all industries. The health of these businesses and their respective outlook serve as a solid indicator for the greater U.S. economy as a whole."
One can safely assume that similar economic trends exist in every western economy, including Canada, Australia, the UK and the EU. Even accounting for variances in this reality amongst geographies, it is certain that the mid market is the engine which drives the free market economies of modern western civilization.
From an IT perspective, the mid market often faces unique IT challenges. Many have recognized the importance of technology with respect to their IT budgets and planning, however, often times, their IT department sizes and budgets do not align with their real contribution to revenue. It is difficult to quantify the effect of IT on the top line number, and traditionally, IT is viewed as an expense to be sacrificed in order to improve the bottom line numbers.
Many mid-market businesses continue to operate with on-premise servers and skeleton IT departments, constantly stuck in a break/fix cycle. Others have made the jump to the hyperclouds, either fully or in a hybrid capacity, only to realize that the promise of cost savings was not a reality, while simultaneously creating a new cycle of problems - unnecessary complexity along with reliability and compliance nightmares often found in these self serve environments.
In addition to compliance requirements, the mid market is now facing pressure from insurance providers and their underwriters in order to implement and renew their critical business and cyber insurance policies. Soaring insurance rates, based on escalating risk and exponential underwriter losses in recent years are driving the mid market towards more comprehensive solutions and back to more boutique service providers.
The current force within mid market organizations driving fundamental changes in their IT departments is now coming from the CFO position. With savvy CFO's beginning to understand the role IT must play moving forward to ensure business continuity and stability in the current and upcoming market.
Repositioning IT spend away from high cost/valueless hyperclouds and capex heavy internal investments, along with supplementing your existing IT department with 3rd party contracts while offloading your infrastructure, cybersecurity and compliance/insurance provider requirements is a rational path forward for midmarket executives. This also leaves limited internal IT resources to be leveraged back into the core business. It is this authors personal belief, that the best IT resources in a midmarket organization needs to be brought into the executive discussions, and leveraged to build strong relationships with infrastructure and cybersecurity partners of choice.