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The State of Growth Is Better Than You Might Ever Think

According to the State of Growth 2021 report, published by NetSuite, EMEA businesses achieved 78 percent of their growth targets last year despite the pandemic. This is only 4% lower than a survey taken called Unlocking Growth conducted last year. The results were based on a survey involving 2000 senior business executives from eight countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Nordics, Benelux, the Middle East, Spain, and Italy. Stores, production, wholesale, software & technology, professional services, and marketing, mainstream press & publication were also included in the survey, with a revenue of $5 million to $200 million.

The report is divided into five sections, with three key takeaways for corporate management to improve.

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The State of the Economy in 2021

The statistics show that the situation is not as bad as many had feared. Over 80% of respondents in the Benelux and Spain thought growth met or exceeded their expectations. Unsurprisingly, the industries that have survived are well-known, with retail accounting for 29% of the total and manufacturing accounting for 36%. Companies are being forced to redefine themselves, and NetSuite is helping them do so.

Managing Growth in a Constantly Changing World

This section of the report highlights the difficulties that many businesses face. It examines M&A activity in a variety of industries and countries. While COVID-19 appears to be fading, it remains the most significant challenge at 23%, with others close behind.

  • Government regulations and tax reform (21%) are the most popular topics (2020 25 percent)
  • Markets are being disrupted by new competitors (20%). (2020 23 percent)
  • Uncertainty in politics (19 percent)
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The Miles Ahead

There was a stampede to incorporate collaboration tools as businesses went into lockdown mode. In many cases, this failed to achieve the required degree of visibility across the organization. While only 20% see collaboration as a challenge, 32% argue that the presence of face-to-face collaboration is a problem that should be addressed.

In comparison to the previous year, 88 percent of respondents now have the data they need to do their jobs, up from 81 percent. Surprisingly, nearly three-quarters of participants say they are sometimes shocked by the amount of information available.

Finance in the Public Eye

Within the survey, NetSuite also extracted responses from Finance heads of state, though it did not specify the number of respondents in this sub-sample. The report identifies some distinctions from the overall responses. Finance executives, for example, are more optimistic about the year 2020’s results, with 82 percent claiming to have met or surpassed growth targets. They are, even so, pessimistic about the future, with only 49 percent convinced that the organization will expand in the coming year.

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A Look at the Various Industries

NetSuite also issued some extra information about the industry collapse for certain queries that were not included in the report.

Working from home is prevalent, but not for everyone. 29% expect no remote work in the manufacturing sector, and in retail, 32% expect no remote work. The question is, in which sectors do those respondents work? It’s fair to assume that shop floor employees will not be able to specialize, but what about back-office employees like finance, IT, and HR? It’s all in the details, and it’s unclear what roles the participants played. Other percentages of participants who did not continue to work remotely were:

  • 16 percent of advertising media and publishing
  • 14 percent for professional services
  • Software and technology account for 11% of the total.
  • 21 percent wholesale distribution

The difficulties of remote working differed by industry. With the exception of advertising media and publishing, face-to-face collaboration was the most popular. Face-to-face imagination and strategizing came in third place in that sector, trailing only dividing work and home life and workplace socials by 1%. (Both 29 percent).

The problem solving skills with quick discussions was a serious hurdle in Professional Services, Production, and Retail. Surprisingly for Software & Tech, the atmosphere of being around others took its place.

For Software & Tech (30%), Manufacturing (29%) and Media & Advertising (29%) industries, separating work and home life was a significant challenge.

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What Does this Imply, According to the Enterprise Times?

The State of Growth 2021 is an intriguing report that contains a wealth of new and previously unreleased data. Three take-outs are highlighted in the report. Similarly, our take-out menus are as follows:

  • Instability will proceed, and preparing for it is now more important than ever.
  • It’s not just about gathering information. It’s all about delivering the best data insights to the correct individuals at the appropriate time.
  • The most likely path forward is a flexible hybrid working environment. Many businesses may have to tailor the working environment to satisfy the expectations employees while also meeting the needs of the business.


What is evident is that 2020 did not turn out to be as terrible as many had predicted. In most quarters, there is a lot of positivity for the coming year. It is not without its difficulties, but every year is. Instead of focusing on the challenges themselves, NetSuite may ask some questions next year about whether the number and diversity of the obstacles are expanding.

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