Private company issues and opportunities

What to consider in 2017

Private companies understand that finding the right balance between immediate needs and longer-term goals can help them be successful.

At Deloitte, we believe private companies need to pay close attention to developments that stand to disrupt both their own businesses and the business ecosystem as a whole. Technology has been and will continue to be one of the most disruptive variables in the marketplace, and private companies that stay abreast of these developments stand to benefit as the technologies evolve and mature. The way people process information and interact with others is changing, and these changes could have seismic impacts on demand patterns, innovation, and the basis of competition going forward.

In addition to the longer-forming trends like the Internet of Things and Mobility, there are also core elements of the complex business environment that private company leaders should address and prioritize in the near term. With that in mind, we asked a diverse group of experienced Deloitte practitioners to provide perspectives on 12 key business issues and opportunities. 

As a trusted advisor to private companies across the business spectrum, it is Deloitte’s mission to uncover developments that could impact our clients and offer best practices to help them manage these challenges. We hope you find this report informative as you put the pieces in place for your company’s next stage of growth.

Internet of Things

The IoT is revolutionizing the way companies think about information. The increasing arsenal of data on physical objects, employees, customers and other stakeholders can now travel across devices, influence the way people act, and enable a growing range of autonomous actions.

The future of mobility

Private company leaders should start considering how changes to the mobility ecosystem may impact their resource needs, capital spending decisions, talent strategies, technology investments and, last but not least, competition. Because if you don’t imagine the possibilities, you can bet that somebody else will.


Companies looking to take advantage of analytics are often best served by starting small and staying focused. Advances in sorting and interpreting unstructured data can help private companies better understand customer needs, employee behaviours and business processes.

Capital spending

Sharper risk assessment to help understand the long-term implications of capital spending decisions and managing the risk of implementing programs remains a challenge for many private companies.

Cloud computing

As growing numbers of organizations choose cloud-based solutions for enterprise resource planning, data center support, and a host of other functions, the virtualization of IT is helping private companies go head- to-head with bigger competitors.

Cyber risk

While the prospect of security breaches is daunting, planning and preparing for them doesn’t have to be. Private companies can cost effectively get a handle on their regulatory requirements by doing a quick assessment of their operating environment.

Digital and social strategy

The increasingly mobile-powered networks form part of a broader focus on technology that has the potential to make strong companies excellent, particularly when a clear digital strategy is in place. Companies should also understand how to apply insights from data to their decision making.


Private companies have enjoyed an attractive financing environment for years, supported by low interest rates, balance sheets bolstered by increased collateral values, and growing cash flows. But today’s market brings greater uncertainty

Advisory boards

According to a Business Development Bank study, 86% of small and medium-sized business leaders surveyed said that an advisory board had made a significant impact on their organization’s success. For growing organizations, it is a smart way to access advanced experience without hiring new employees. The key is knowing how to take advantage of that potential.

M&A discipline

While there are many serial acquirers in the public market, private companies are generally less experienced, and are armed with fewer resources, to take on transformational opportunities both before and after the transaction.

Organization effectiveness / talent

Even while focused on finding new employees with the right skills, private companies must be careful not to neglect another key aspect of successful talent management: keeping the talent they already have.


Despite a weak Canadian dollar, many private companies pursued international expansion in 2016 and we can expect these efforts to continue in 2017. The challenges will be numerous and varied; organizations must have a good understanding of the new markets, and the objectives of key regulators and policymakers.

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