According to a new survey released by Big Four firm Deloitte, more companies in the middle market are embracing emerging technologies as a key element of their business growth strategy.

The survey also revealed that chief information and technology officers are calling more of the shots with technology investments. In fact, respondents indicated that 49 percent of technology adoption is led by IT department leaders, compared to only 36 percent in 2015.

“As C-suite attitudes toward technology shift, our clients are expanding the role and influence of IT leadership,” said Stephen Keathley, deputy chief information officer at, Deloitte Services LP and national technology leader of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, in a statement. “IT is becoming less of an administrative or support function, and is gaining an important seat at the table, driving technology adoption, integration and strategy.”

Other key numbers from the survey:

  • 25 percent of respondents say they have processes in place for exploring emerging technologies.
  • 19 percent of respondents reported a significantly higher technology spend compared to last year.
  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents use some form of virtual or augmented reality in their business.
  • 42 percent of companies use demos or interactive tools to help improve employee and customer interactions with products and services.
  • Almost all survey respondents indicated they were investigating how to implement the Internet of Things in their companies, with more than half of executives noting mature IoT deployments or building their IoT capabilities.
  • 36 percent of company leaders identified “managing cybersecurity and information risk” as their top technology priority this year, displacing “improving existing business processes.”
  • Implementation of new security processes, monitoring and detection efforts are their most important areas of focus for cybersecurity spending.
  • 54 percent of respondents rank data security concerns as one of their top three reasons for investing in cloud technology.

“Pervasive news of cybersecurity attacks and data security breaches puts companies on the defensive,” added Keathley. “Reflecting concerns over hacking, payments fraud and infrastructure risks, 52 percent of our survey respondents said they have plans in place to manage external information security threats. Companies should batten down the hatches to protect against security threats.”
The Deloitte survey was conducted by market research firm OnResearch from June 17 to July this year. It polled 500 executives at U.S. mid-market companies. Respondents were limited to executives at mid-market companies with annual revenues between $100 million and $1 billion, and included representatives across industries. The full survey report can be viewed here.

 

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