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Tech Needs Business: Why Successful Companies Have Both

Companies need a mix of tech and business talent to succeed in the market. Learn more about the power of this dynamic duo – and where to find it.

Tech professionals are an integral part of growing a successful business. Their skills and expertise lay the groundwork for developing innovative solutions that solve everyday challenges. But tech professionals can’t run a business on their own.

Waterloo has become a hub for big brand names such as Google, SAP and OpenText, while also being recognized as the #1 small tech talent market in North America . With Waterloo’s unique talent pool, companies can flourish in the region’s business ecosystem fostering innovation and success.

In any company, business professionals are needed to perform core operational, financial, marketing and management activities:

  • Without business leaders, you couldn’t oversee strategy and unify operations.
  • Without finance experts, you couldn’t forecast targets that quantitatively inform strategic decisions.
  • Without marketers and salespeople, you couldn’t create demand or place your product in customers’ hands.

This specialized business expertise is critical in taking products beyond the prototype stage – transforming ideas into a viable reality.

Luckily, we’ve got the best of both disciplines in Waterloo. The region’s three well-respected post-secondary institutions and our existing tech ecosystem are fueling the next generation of tech and business talent.

The tech-business connection

The tech-business relationship combines technical and business competencies to achieve concrete results. This collaboration unites tech professionals who build and reiterate products with business professionals who sell, market, report and manage the people who execute those products.

The following business functions are crucial to a tech firm’s success:

  • Financial Analysis and Accounting: These professionals collect financial data to report results, forecast targets and quantitatively prove your firm’s value proposition.
  • Human Resources: Recruitment, employee retention and compensation management are essential to obtaining employees who foster growth and innovation.
  • Marketing: Marketers speak the language of your customers. Their advertising strategies create demand for your product by communicating its value as a solution to your customers’ problems.
  • Sales and Corporate Development: Salespeople generate revenue by nurturing customer relationships and continuously advocating for your brand.
  • Operations: The moving parts of any business would not move without operations professionals. They procure resource inputs, ensure quality and connect functional teams with external partners.
  • Leadership: Senior leadership creates organizational culture and develops strategic goals; then unifies teams to execute those goals. As the face of the brand, leadership teams paint a cohesive picture of your business to external partners.

The data backs it up

A tech company’s need for business talent is backed by more than logic.

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises publishes annual reports featuring key learnings for tech firms. Two reports in particular feature research from faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University, Trent University Durham and Toronto Metropolitan University identifying the importance of business expertise in growth and expansion.

For firms over six years of age, the Grow Global: Key Performance Drivers of Canadian Technology Firms report found that the amount spent on sales and marketing were significant to sales growth and international performance drivers. High integration between sales and marketing was another relevant growth factor for established firms, receiving a score of 3.8 out of 5, where 5 represents strong agreement.

The marketing-sales spend relationship applies to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies as well, regardless of age. One Lazaridis Institute Annual Report ranked the ability to build rewarding relationships with outside contacts as a key high revenue growth driver amongst SaaS firms (4.4 out of 5). This research indicates that business professionals with marketing and sales skills can positively impact a tech firms’ success.

Leveraging local business talent

As one of the fastest growing talent markets, tech is almost synonymous with Waterloo. Yet, the region’s rich talent pool of business professionals directly contributes to its tech sector’s success. By embodying the tech-business professional relationship, tech companies can amplify the value they create in today’s competitive landscape.