When you think about the tech you use in your business today, does this sound familiar: endless spreadsheets, confusing email chains, clunky legacy systems? Many times this happens because of concerns about the cost and complexity of trying new approaches.
But this bureaucratic slow roll can become toxic. It wastes hours of high-talent time on mind-numbing tasks. It can breed frustration and attrition as employees flee to firms not mired in 1998. And it can cement mid-size firms into sluggishness.
Meanwhile we've got AI revolutionizing everything from marketing to manufacturing. Cloud tech has rendered on-prem servers obsolete. Mobile put power and collaboration in every palm. So legacy tech can be the equivalent of competing with one arm tied behind your back.
Want breakthroughs? Automate that rote work. Leverage AI's untiring capacity. Move operations to the cloud for scalability and resilience. Will it be scary? Oh yes. Will it require tough choices? Yep. But fortune favors the bold.
Here are some well-established opportunities to consider:
AI-powered chatbots can provide 24/7 support, handing common issues like account changes, FAQs, reminders, etc. Of course, your people are critical for the human touch when problems get complex. But bots excel at the high-volume drudgery. This kind of automation is one to put at the top of your list.
Documents, contract reviews, data processing can all be streamlined through AI. Cloud-based workflows eliminate bottlenecks. Apps like Airtable, Zapier, and If This Then That enable cross-platform automation without coding. Time to drain your operational swamp!
Start with your biggest pain point. Lead generation and email nurturing sequences are common automation wins. Build in metrics early to quantify results. Social media scheduling tools optimize posting times. By consolidating data and automating repetitive tasks marketers can focus on high-impact initiatives like campaign strategy, branding, content creation, and customer insights.
Automate payroll, PTO approvals and other tasks. Surveys and pulse checks can provide real-time employee satisfaction data. Automation frees HR to handle the human stuff like culture, development, and retention.
Accounting & Finance:
Invoicing, reporting, AP/AR can be automated to cut down tedious work. AI is getting terrifyingly good at forecasting and modeling too. The CFO's job is insight and strategy, not cranking out spreadsheets.
Will full automation happen overnight? Of course not. But committing to gradual modernization now is infinitely better than a panicked scramble for reinvention when markets force your hand.
Start with 2-3 high-impact experiments: A sales chatbot. Automated invoice processing. AI contract review. Prove value in small doses, then scale what works. The key is leadership from the top.
Yes, it will take convincing. Change is scary. Frame it as relief for your most burned-out teams. Show how speed, efficiency and output will improve. Highlight the competitive upside: you innovate or get left behind. Lead the team to the future.
Will some stuff not work? Absolutely. Overcome failure quickly by iterating. As Darwin said, it's not the strongest who survive, but those most responsive to change.
Mid-size companies must be decisive in embracing technology. Scrap outdated systems dragging you down. Automate strategically.
The bottom line? Existing processes must not impede progress. With the right vision and urgency, mid-size leaders can leverage automation to compete at higher levels in today's digital arena.
TLDR: To compete in modern business, mid-size firms need technology plus transformation. Incremental won't cut it anymore. Automation and innovation must happen deliberately, decisively, and without delay.
The tools are there. The opportunities abound. Fear and inertia alone hold companies back. It's time for a mindset shift amongst mid-size firm leaders. Stop tweaking the status quo and start reimagining everything. Be relentless about cutting waste. Empower your people and your business through technology.
Fortune favors the bold. So be bold.