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This year, 54 percent mid-market companies polled by OnResearch on behalf of Deloitte said they their technology spending will be "higher" than last year. Another 19.4 percent said their spending will be "significantly higher" than in 2015. Improving employee productivity is one of the main reasons behind those boosted levels of IT investments.
"Increased productivity ranked first of all the reasons the companies have for investing in technology. When asked how technology has generated change within their firms, half of respondents said it has increased productivity and freed up talent to assume new or additional responsibilities," stated the Deloitte study.
In search of those productivity gains, mid-sized enterprises are seeking out cloud infrastructure (39.8 percent) and business analytics (38.2 percent) solutions. Big data (36.8 percent) also ranked high on the list of technologies that help employees accomplish more at work.
OnResearch surveyed 500 mid-sized firms with annual sales of $100 million to more than $1 billion for the study. The bulk of the responses came from C-suite executives (60 percent) and the rest came from other executives in managerial positions.
Underscoring augmented and virtual reality's (AR/VR) bright future in the enterprise, 88 percent of respondents said they are already using AR/VR. Thirty-eight percent said they are employing virtual reality to help customers engage with their brands and 40 percent are using the technology to train customers how to use their products.
Similarly, the Internet of Things (IoT) is having a major impact on the IT strategies of mid-market organizations. "Virtually all respondents in our survey indicated they were at the very least investigating how they could implement IoT technology — the vast [universe] of Internet-connected devices and systems," said the report. Fifty-six percent of respondents reported mature IoT deployments or that they are well on their way.
Among companies that are developing IoT-enabled products, smart hybrid cloud monitoring (50.6 percent) and smart industrial devices (47.6 percent) are among the top product categories. Smart consumer devices (43.2 percent) also ranked highly.
Finally, and unsurprisingly, over a third of those surveyed (36 percent) identified cybersecurity and information risk management as their top IT priority. Over the past twelve months, security spending was largely concentrated on implementing new security processes (61.2 percent), threat prevention (53.5 percent), employee education and training (53.5 percent) and security software (51.4 percent), the report found.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.