Companies Value Emerging Technologies but Are Slow to Adopt

By: Jeff Bertolucci| - Leave a comment

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CIOs are more likely to be early adopters of emerging technologies than creative executives. But despite IT leaders’ enthusiasm for new tech, most companies today are slow to innovate.

According to a recent study by staffing agencies Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, just 17 percent of CIOs and 10 percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said their companies integrate new technology early on.

The study includes responses from more than 2,500 CIOs and 400 advertising and marketing executives in the U.S. The findings reveal a distinct contrast between enterprises’ take-it-slow approach to tech innovation and widespread personal enthusiasm for new tech among respondents.

For instance, the vast majority — 94 percent — of IT leaders and three out of four creative executives said it’s at least somewhat important for managers in their department to try out emerging technologies, a far cry from the 17 percent who consider their organizations early adopters.

Slow Is Safe

Businesses tend to be less eager than consumers to embrace cutting-edge technologies, because the potential downside of failure is immense. And while technology can empower business processes to run faster, easier and more effectively, selecting and investing in the right tools and systems can seem daunting to companies, notes John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.

“Most organizations take a measured approach to implementing new technologies, given the considerable costs, training and potential productivity loss involved,” said Reed in a statement.

Overall, IT leaders see greater value than their creative counterparts in using new technology, but not by a wide margin. When asked how important it is for leaders in their departments to personally test and become early adopters of emerging technologies, 40 percent of IT executives said it was “very important,” versus 30 percent of creative advertising and marketing leaders.

Similarly, 47 percent of creatives said their company takes a “slow and steady” approach to adopting new technology, compared with 32 percent of CIOs.

Recruit Outside Experts

Staffing agencies are also experiencing challenges with the slow embrace of emerging technology.

“Professionals who can implement new digital initiatives are often hard to find,” noted Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

To resolve this problem, companies should consider bringing in project professionals to lend their expertise, manage the transition to new technology and train existing staff, Domeyer added. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one area that often requires the aid of outside skill, particularly at companies implementing IoT for the first time.

Keep Up With Evolving Tech

The Robert Half/Creative Group study reveals the trepidation many businesses feel about the breakneck pace of technological advancement. Today’s emerging technologies include everything from virtual and augmented reality (forecast to soar in popularity over the next five years) to advanced analytics, blockchain, everything-as-a-service and machine intelligence. To succeed in the coming years, enterprises should consider recruiting the outside talent they need to integrate the newest tech and drive business into the future.

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About The Author

Jeff Bertolucci

News Writer

Jeff Bertolucci is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in technology, digital media, and education. His work has appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance, InformationWeek, PCWorld, Macworld, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.