Competition and ROI
While survival and risk might have assumed more importance for many, staying competitive is still a focus in some sectors.
Retail/wholesale/logistics is a standout here, with 34 per cent stating it's a top priority and a further 41 per cent giving it a high priority. It's a similar story for media/telecoms/entertainment where the corresponding figures are 32 per cent and 39 per cent. As you'd expect, it's less of a concern in government and public service oriented sectors like health and education. Less expected is the relatively high proportion of business services respondents who said it was a low priority or not on the agenda (37 per cent). This seems unusual for a sector that is generally recruited to help client businesses to grow. Their focus seems to be more on process improvements and cost savings than assisting with business expansion.
Business services do rate slightly above the average for all sectors when it comes to ranking the importance of return on investment (ROI). Seventeen per cent give it as a top priority, but it's a polarised response with many more (31 per cent) saying it's a low priority or not on the agenda. Across all sectors only 15 per cent gave improving ROI as a top priority, which is an interesting response when you'd expect the economic downturn was driving efficiencies. Twenty-nine per cent said it was a low priority or wasn't even on the agenda.
Media/telecoms/entertainment is a leading sector when it comes to seeing ROI as an aid to improving competitiveness. Twenty per cent rated it as a top priority. The retail/wholesale/logistics sector, which ranked highest for placing the need to gain a competitive edge as a top priority, are less preoccupied with increasing ROI, with just 14 per cent giving it the same importance, midway down the sector by sector pecking order. The IT sector, however, 28 per cent of which saw gaining a competitive edge as a top priority, had 18 per cent of respondents rating "increasing ROI" as a top priority.