Spiceworks: Europe leads in emerging tech

Europe adopting emerging tech in response to GDPR and rising cybersecurity threats

European companies’ adoption of emerging technologies is outpacing the U.S., according to new research released this week by Spiceworks.

Adoption of technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain, alongside emerging security solutions including anti-ransomware, employee security training tools and hardware-based authentication, is being fuelled by three factors, says the firm in its 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech report.

Replacing outdated tech, increased security concerns and stricter regulatory concerns – most notably, GDPR – are all contributing to an increased spend in these areas in Europe, it says.

“In Europe, everyone is aware of these regulations because they have been beaten into them over the past two years, so there’s a heightened awareness of the importance of having up-to-date IT,” Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks told Microscope at the firm’s annual user conference, SpiceWorld 2018, in Austin, Texas.

In the emerging tech category, IT automation, Gigabit Wi-Fi networking and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are most in use today, with Tsai forecasting that within two years, all three will see mainstream adoption. In contrast, a gap remains between the market hype around technologies like AI and VR, and actual deployment by customers.

“People still think AI has great potential, but the actual use cases or products haven’t reached critical mass,” said Tsai.

Currently, 37 percent of organisations worldwide use IT automation, 36 percent use gigabit Wi-Fi networking, and 27 percent use IoT technology, but by 2020, these figures are expected to jump to 58 percent, 61 percent, and 48 percent, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, adoption rates of emerging technology in large enterprises are up to 10 times higher than in small businesses.

“Larger companies…have more resources and because of regulations that bigger companies stand to lose more, because the penalties are a percentage of your annual turnover,” said Tsai.

The research shows that by 2020, 86 percent of companies with more than 5,000 employees plan to adopt IoT solutions, 65 percent plan to deploy edge computing technology, 64 percent expect to use AI, and 56 percent expect to utilise blockchain-enabled technology.

Spiceworks also notes that since larger organisations are more likely to increase IT budgets in 2019, the findings indicate they’re able to “simultaneously upgrade outdated infrastructure, implement the latest security solutions, and invest in innovation.”

Financial services firms are the earliest adopters of most emerging technologies, while government institutions lag other industries in most cases.

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