​The Importance of New Technology to Businesses

What are the biggest drivers of change when it comes to the world of business? A 2015 survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit discovered that technology is considered the most crucial factor. But how enthusiastic or reluctant are businesses to adopt new approaches?

The Economist Intelligence Unit survey pooled 127 CEOs and the top senior executives from 17 different industries worldwide to help conduct the survey. The study found a mixture of enthusiasm and skepticism for new technological advancements.

The tentative conditions necessary for a new piece of technology can increase the interpreted risk yet are intended to yield advantageous improvements. Some businesses simply do not have the processes in place to enable them to effectively and easily adapt to new changes in technology. CEOs become reluctant to push the IT department forward and ignore beneficial adaptations.

A split between industries

It is often suggested that substantial investment in technology during the dot-com boom of the late ‘90s ‘burned the fingers’ of some companies. Following the collapse of the dot-com bubble, the assumption was that many companies would be hesitant about investing again in new technological advances. Instead, senior executives determined the majority are interested in technology.

Survey adoption rates:
  • 40% – Early adopters
  • 46% – Cautious adopters
  • 9% – Forced adopters
  • 6% – Late adopters

There are also notable differences in attitudes between industries. The professional services industry came out on top as the most positive, with 61 percent agreeing they are keen to adopt new technology. Manufacturing services followed quickly behind with 50 percent of senior executives expressing enthusiasm for technological investment.

Those least optimistic about new technological advancements include the financial and healthcare industries. These sectors showed 50 percent to 60 percent of the senior executives would rather put off adopting new technology until it is proven, regardless of whether they lose ground to competitors.

When it comes to those most skeptical about embracing new technology, consumer goods manufacturers were top of the pile. 29 percent stated they were suspicious about what new technology could bring to their business and considered their businesses to lag behind the usual standards.

What does it mean for spending on technology?

The survey overlooks certain aspects regarding industrial acceptance of technologies and how their attitudes affect spending. Despite a difference in opinion, the survey found that companies split their budget on maintenance and upgrades for infrastructures and purchasing new technology. However, the amount spent maintaining old technology was expected to fall over the subsequent three years for replacing older equipment with newer advancements.

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