In this article

Reflecting on digital transformation, what was the focal point of your organisation’s digital strategy?

 In reflecting on digital transformation, 43% prioritised customer engagement, 33% focused on new products and solutions, 29% on streamlining internal processes, 42% on data analytics, 37% on improving reporting and decision-making processes, and 31% on enhancing supply chain management. Half of the businesses, 50%, prioritised cybersecurity and data privacy measures, while 31% expressed interest in integrating emerging technologies like AI and IoT. Lastly, 8% indicated uncertainty about their digital strategy's focal point.  



The survey indicated a significant increase in technology investments in South Africa. The data highlights various digital strategies adopted by mid-market businesses, emphasising a regional increase in technology investment and a commitment to advancing digital agendas.  



Which of these tax-efficient frameworks your company is using or considering for international expansion?

Businesses prioritise tax incentives for foreign investment, foreign tax credits, and transfer pricing strategies. Additionally, they consider tax treaties, offshore holding company structures, double tax agreements, and special economic zones when expanding globally. The survey also shows that businesses efficiently navigate regulatory complexities and proactively respond to economic uncertainty. This highlights the intricate relationship between strategic decision-making and economic conditions during global expansion.  



In simpler terms, the IBR H2 2023 survey shows how businesses strategically address challenges to succeed in global markets. The survey emphasizes the importance of tax-efficient frameworks and their role in the decision-making processes of businesses navigating global expansion in South Africa.


In efforts to enhance employee experience, how do you plan to break down boundaries further and foster collaboration within your workforce?          

The South Africa survey shows active initiatives to promote collaboration within the workforce, such as team-building activities, collaborative project management tools, virtual collaboration platforms, and cross-functional training sessions. However, challenges in skilled worker availability (38% in H2 2023, down from 50% in H1 2023) may affect collaboration initiatives. Differences in staff investment and pay rises (73% expectation for staff skills investment in H2 2023, 13% likelihood of offering pay rises above inflation) may impact employee motivation and retention.    



What business value have you seen from your sustainability efforts?

Sustainability initiatives bring environmental, social, and economic value to businesses. Results from the IBR survey highlight the many benefits of embracing sustainability efforts. For example, 48% of organisations experience operational efficiencies through resource optimisation and waste reduction, leading to cost savings. Additionally, 42% of mid-market businesses connect sustainability practices to improved reputation and customer loyalty, while 43% report a boost in employee morale and productivity. Proactively addressing sustainability risks is seen as vital by 45% of businesses, enabling them to reduce vulnerabilities and ensure long-term resilience. Embracing sustainability as a core business strategy unlocks new opportunities for growth, innovation, and value creation in a sustainable-driven global economy.    



How is your business adapting its financial strategies and operations to mitigate the effects of inflation within the South African economic landscape?

 Businesses are taking proactive measures to navigate economic challenges, particularly inflation. For example, 42% are negotiating better terms with suppliers, and 33% are diversifying investments to hedge against inflation. Efficiency measures such as optimizing inventory management (27%) and enhancing productivity (45%) are also prioritized. However, caution is observed regarding labour costs, with only 13% planning to offer pay rises above inflation.

The IBR global survey shows that South African mid-market businesses are focused on investing in human capital and technology, with 73% intending to invest in staff skills and 72% in Information Technology. The preference for sourcing from China underscores global trade dynamics, highlighting the interconnectedness of South African mid-market businesses with global markets. These findings emphasize the importance of efficiency, strategic investment, and global partnerships in navigating the evolving economic landscape.