Despite an uncertain external environment, heightened by COVID-19, two-thirds (67%) are increasing investment in their business. And one in three (34%) will significantly increase investment by more than 10% in the next year.
Higher-growth businesses may steal a march with significant anticipated investment to spur growth. Nine in ten fast growth companies, those which anticipate revenues to rise by over 5% this year, are increasing investment. Yet even for businesses which expect declining sales in the next year, two in five (38%) plan to increase overall financial investment.
Investment is geared towards boosting demand and enhancing customer experience. Immediate priorities include marketing (47%) and sales channels (45%).
Investment decisions appear broadly consistent across sector and company size. Yet digitally enabled companies selling online are investing more, with three-quarters of these firms increasing investment (76%), against 61% of offline business. The outperformance of digitally enabled businesses may intensify if this investment gap continues.
Long-term investment priorities include process innovation (46%), supply chain transformation (44%) and sustainability (45%). Notably, the oil and gas sector places greater emphasis on sustainability, with around half increasing investment. And product innovation was highest amongst the innovative electronics (54%) and IT sectors (50%).
A drive to enable collaboration, identified in the Navigator Resilience report, continues. More than a third of businesses are increasing investment in technologies that promote skills development and transfer (36%), agile management (35%) and employee communications (33%). Only one in ten businesses plan to decrease investment in these technologies.
Consistent with wider findings, there is little sign of firms foregoing investment to boost short-term shareholder returns. Rather the prioritisation of post-COVID recovery, digitisation, and sustainability are clear; firms are prepared to invest now to deliver value in the long-term.
Businesses intending to increase overall investment in the next year
of businesses globally intend to increase financial investment