SADA Systems 2018 Tech Trends Survey: AI/ML Top List of Priorities for IT Pros

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Majority of respondents said they’d invest more in Artificial Intelligence technologies than IoT, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, and edge computing over the next two years.

As global leaders in providing business and technology consulting services, we’re excited to share the results of the 2018 Tech Trends survey of IT professionals and their opinions on some of the most talked-about technologies. The survey, which was completed by 500 IT professionals including nearly 100 top IT executives, focused on six technology categories – artificial intelligence/machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain, edge computing, the internet of things (IoT), and virtual reality – and sought to understand how mid-market companies are using them, which are most important to their businesses, how much they plan to spend on their use, and challenges they’re likely to face when implementing.

Every year, new technologies and new technology buzzwords make their way into the mainstream. For example, over the past several years, terms and technologies like microservices, containers and DevOps have become popular. What isn’t always clear, however, is the extent to which IT professionals are incorporating recently introduced technologies and concepts in production environments. In other words, are some terms merely jargon pushed by marketers, or are they the cornerstones of a new era in information technology? And if the technologies are potential cornerstones, what’s driving their use and how soon will people begin using applications that leverage them.

 

“IT professionals are the gatekeepers to the next generation of technologies and technology techniques,” stated Tony Safoian, CEO and President, SADA Systems. “Much of their time is spent researching and evaluating vendors and solutions, and trying to decipher whether things like artificial intelligence and the internet of things will stand the test of time, or if they will disappear into the IT dustbin. As a company that prides itself on providing evidence-based guidance to its clients about which technologies and vendors offer the most value, we felt strongly about doing this research and feel confident that the results will be useful to IT pros in terms of informing their decisions.”

 

Some of the most significant survey findings include:2018-tech-trends-infographic

Most Popular New Technologies

Sixty-seven percent of respondents claimed to be using IoT today, while 60% said they are using AI or ML currently and 37% said they are using edge computing.

Technologies Companies Are Investing in Most

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their organizations would invest the most in AI/ML over the next two years, followed by IoT (31%) and blockchain (10%).

Technologies with the Biggest Impact on Business

Forty percent of respondents said AI/ML would have the biggest impact on their businesses over the next two years, followed by IoT (23%) and virtual reality (12%).

Technologies with the Biggest Impact on Society

Forty-one percent of respondents said AI/ML would have the biggest impact on society over the next two years, followed by IoT (21%) and virtual reality (13%).

Timeline for Deploying Applications Using New Technologies

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they would use the aforementioned technologies in applications within 1-2 years, while 35% said within one year and 13% said their applications are already on the market.

Hardest Technology Skill Sets to Find Among IT Professionals

Forty-four percent of respondents said that AI/ML was the most difficult skill set to find among IT professionals today, followed by blockchain (16%) and IoT (12%).

Motivation Behind the Use of New Technologies

Seventy percent of respondents cited the need to increase efficiency and productivity, while 62% said competitive differentiation and 48% said employee or customer demand.

Budget Allocated Annually for the Use of New Technologies

Thirty percent of respondents said their organizations budget between $500,000 and $1,000,000 annually for the use of newer technologies, while 25% budget between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 annually.

How ROI is Measured for the Use of New Technologies

Sixty percent of respondents said their organizations measure ROI in terms of increased revenue, while 51% said lower operating costs and another 49% said staff efficiency.

Societal Issue of Greatest Concern Regarding Use of New Technologies

Sixty-two percent of respondents said their biggest concern was data privacy, while 19% said identity theft, 13% cited the loss of jobs and six percent said the loss of human life.

SADA’s survey ran online in March 2018. All respondents work in companies with at least 500 employees, and 75% of respondents work in companies with at least 1,000 employees. Approximately 44% of respondents work in technology companies, with the remaining responses coming from IT professionals in retail, healthcare, financial services, media, legal and manufacturing. All respondents have used or experimented with one or more of the following technologies: artificial intelligence/machine learning, augmented reality, autonomous driving, blockchain, edge computing, internet of things, virtual reality.

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