The ebbs and flows of the business climate provide a deeply complex picture of the enterprise. While all interconnected, employment, lending, economic outlook and other financial factors don't always rise and fall in sync.
With the latest analysis of businesses large and small, this kaleidoscope of metrics emerges. There's a lot of good news: Companies are evolving, showing confidence and upping their wages. But there is a lot of negative data to balance out the good, too: an uptick in cyberattacks and late loan repayments, for instance.
Assess the numbers below to draw your own conclusions about the state of business today.
96% of large firms are in the process of a transformation, according to the 2016 KPMG Global Transformation Study. That means that businesses whose revenues surpass $500 million are changing and are increasingly impacted by technological innovation, regulation, cost pressures and other factors. Nearly half of the businesses surveyed by KPMG, however, said that they are concerned about their abilities to successfully implement those changes or plan ahead. According to researchers, the data suggests the enterprise is in need of holistic back-office solutions to help with transformative processes.
85% of SMBs are content with their software systems, says B2B reviews firm Clutch. Small business owners don't seem to have any qualms about the payroll tools they're using, with the most commonly used features being the generation of payroll reports, W-2s and direct deposits. Analysts attribute this satisfaction to a recent increase in technological capabilities of payroll software. What's missing from current payroll offerings? Mobile apps, Clutch found.
40% of enterprises have been targeted by ransomware in the last year, and 34 percent of the companies attacked lost revenue, according to Malwarebytes analysis. One-fifth said they were forced to shutter operations entirely following a data breach. The examination of CIOs, IT directors and other similar executives across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany revealed that the majority of ransomware attacks demanded at least $1,000 for companies to regain control of their systems; more than a fifth demanded more than $10,000. Even a few asked for $150,000, reports said. More than 40 percent of companies surveyed said they paid the ransom.
36% of small biz owners report an increase in the ease of obtaining credit, the highest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to data from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. The report, which examines small business outlook every quarter, found an uptick in optimism for Q3 of this year, but as with similar analysis recently released, companies remain cautious about broader economic outlooks.
30% — or more — of companies transact with a mobile device, found a global research report released by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. More than a quarter of small and medium-sized businesses and more than a third of larger enterprises transact via mobile device, the report said. While the most common type of professional to do so was unsurprisingly within the financial department of a firm, professionals that are top managers or even ordinary employees are showing signs of increased mobile banking and payments for their corporations. The worry about this trend, analysts stated, was that corporate financial fraud may rise as a result.
1.56% of SMB loans were more than 30 days past due in June, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. That's the highest percentage since Oct. 2014, according to analysts. But the latest report also found that small businesses boosted their borrowing in June, with an uptick in the index to 138.9 (from May's 131.1). Still, PayNet noted, small business borrowing levels are 5 percent lower than they were this time last year.
0.28% fewer SMBs increased their hiring in July compared to June, found the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index. It marks the first decline in the index since January of this year after five consecutive months of hiring increases. The figures coincide with findings by Paychex, whose Small Business Jobs Index, in conjunction with IHS, found a decline in July small business hiring practices — though the index remained 0.04 percent higher than this time last year. Paychex CEO Martin Mucci described the atmosphere as "choppy" for SMB hiring. Still, analysts said, there was an increase in wage levels among small business employers — a pretty appropriate term for the business climate as a whole, we think.