In perhaps a positive outlook for the economy, business leaders are doubling down on technology investment for 2022. However, they have significant concerns regarding staffing. Those are a pair of key findings from EisnerAmper’s executive survey, which gauged the outlook of business leaders throughout the United States.
Much of the high-level insight from this year’s survey focused on company footprint, people and technology.
- Over the next 12 months, leaders expect to make investments in technology (65%) [63% in 2020 survey], human capital (49%) [43% in 2020 survey], and cybersecurity (44%) [30% in 2020 survey]. To a lesser degree, they will invest in training (30%), process efficiencies (26%), real estate (15%), and M&A (9%).
- 53% do not intend to downsize office space over the next year [48% in 2020 survey]. A total of 10% plan to increase office size [3% in 2020 survey]. One quarter, 25% are undecided [29% in 2020 survey]. Only 12% will downsize partially or completely [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 (2%), distributed to the partners (2%), lowered prices (1%), employee bonuses (1%), donated to charity (1%).
- 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%). Other was 9%.
- 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 have taken steps to improve diversity and inclusion over the past year: 79% said yes, 21% indicated no.
Cybersecurity and technology investment
- 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%).
- For those companies that have gone to a hybrid or full-time virtual work model, they have increased their cybersecurity investment: moderately (35%), significantly (21%), not at all (15%), and does not apply (29%).