2021 Epicor Insights Report Key Findings Summary

Austin, Texas July 11, 2021

Business acceleration

A positive business outlook:

  • 61% of all businesses surveyed expect to expand in size and scale over the coming three years.
  • The optimism barometer rises to 68% predicting growth among businesses who are already mostly/all on cloud.
  • The retail (73%) and manufacturing (65%) industries are the most optimistic about expansion. The distribution sector falls below the survey average at 48% predicting expansion.
  • 55% of all businesses surveyed expect to grow their workforce over the coming three years, compared to only 38% who believe it will stay the same. This figure jumps to 63% predicting new job creation among businesses already on the cloud.
  • 76% expect their business to be fully recovered from the impact of COVID-19 by 2022.

Cloud ready with a hint of migration fog

Respondents are looking to the cloud for prescriptive business purposes that deliver measurable results.

  • Futureproofing: 94% believe the cloud will help future-proof their business and 82% accelerated their cloud migration plans because of COVID-19.
  • Key drivers to moving business solutions to the cloud are improved security (34%) via encryption, multi-factor authentication and 24/7 monitoring, and quality control (32%).
  • The top five perceived obstacles to cloud migration:
    • Security and risk mitigation – e.g., malware, internet connectivity for on premise (33%)
    • Total cost of ownership (29%)
    • Time to implement and ability to customize to unique business needs (27%)
    • Data loss/sovereignty (26%)
    • Internet outages (24%)
  • Education & partnership is critical: When asked what would make them feel more comfortable about the journey to the cloud, the top two responses were:
  • Help with data backups (52%)
  • Access to specialist migration teams (48%)

Bullish technologists

The businesses surveyed do not regard themselves as playing digital transformation “catch-up.” Nearly three-quarters (71%) categorize themselves as first or early tech adopters.

  • Digitally competitive: 91% cited that technology is critical to achieving their business expansion plans.
  • IT refresh cycles: Determined to stay ahead of the technology adoption curve, 72% of businesses are updating their IT solutions within six months, and 21% in near real time – namely 30 days or less. This compares with just 22% who review annually.
  • IT leadership: 88% are already actively mining their customer data to improve outcomes using segmentation, targeting, microanalysis, and predictive modelling. And it is paying off, with 80% of essential businesses rating themselves as competitive or leaders in their industry.
  • Cloud divide: 91% of all cloud businesses feel they are leaders or on par with the competition, yet 42% of all on-premises businesses state they feel behind in their field.

Hurdles to business success

The biggest challenges facing their business respondents ranked:

  1. The pace of technological change (49%)
  2. Cybersecurity concerns (49%)
  3. Market volatility (37%)

Adversely, geo-political tensions (23%) and commoditization (23%) ranked bottom of the worries table.

The need remains to even the playing field with regards to stable broadband access among essential businesses.

  • 24% are still ranking internet outages as a genuine business concern, and this is highest amongst the retail sector (29%).
  • 58% of all respondents have experienced internet outages.
  • One in 10 businesses (9%) still don’t have a stable internet connection, which discriminates against their ability to move to cloud-based solutions.