Europe embraces emerging technologies

By 2020, nearly 40 percent of European organisations plan to deploy artificial intelligence and blockchain-enabled technologies.

Spiceworks has published the 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech report examining the emerging technology trends organisations are adopting across North America and Europe. Compared to North American businesses, the results show adoption rates of emerging technologies in European businesses are twice as high in many cases. For example, nearly 40 percent of European organisations plan to adopt artificial intelligence and blockchain-enabled technology by 2020, compared to less than 20 percent of North American organisations.

“With the stakes around privacy and security rising after the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect, many European organisations are motivated to reevaluate the IT policies and technologies they employ,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “To reduce the risk of incurring massive GDPR fines, European businesses have an incentive to adopt newer security solutions to better secure sensitive data. And with this increased focus on IT, some companies are also taking this opportunity to evaluate and test related tech, such as artificial intelligence, containers, and blockchain.”

Highlights of emerging tech adoption rates across all European companies include:

  • 35 percent of organisations currently use IT automation, 32 percent use gigabit Wi-Fi networking, and 26 percent use IoT technology, but by 2020, these figures are expected to increase to 60 percent, 59 percent, and 53 percent, respectively.

  • 19 percent of organisations have adopted converged/hyper-converged infrastructure, 18 percent have deployed container technology, and 18 percent are using virtual reality technology.

  • 18 percent of organisations are using edge computing and 17 percent are using serverless computing, but both figures are expected to jump to 42 percent by 2020.

  • Fewer companies are currently using artificial intelligence (13 percent) or blockchain-enabled technology (13 percent), but by 2020, 39 percent of European companies plan to adopt AI and 38 percent plan to deploy blockchain technology.

Among emerging tech trends, IT decision makers in Europe predict IT automation technology will have the biggest impact on their business, followed by artificial intelligence and IoT technology.

European businesses adopting most emerging security solutions at a faster rate

In addition to investing in innovation, European businesses are also investing in emerging security solutions to protect their networks from cyberattacks. The results show anti-ransomware solutions, hardware-based authentication (e.g., security tokens), and breach detection systems have the highest current adoption rates at 41 percent, 38 percent, and 36 percent, respectively.

Similar to other emerging tech trends, European businesses are also adopting most emerging security solutions at a faster rate than North American businesses. For example, by 2020, 48 percent of European businesses plan to deploy IoT security solutions, compared to 29 percent in North America, and 43 percent plan to adopt AI-powered security solutions, compared to 25 percent in North America.

However, 46 percent of North American companies are using end user security awareness and testing tools, compared to 36 percent in Europe. The study shows IT decision makers in North American companies believe employee security training tools are far more effective than their European counterparts. Seventy percent of IT decision makers in North America believe employees security training tools are the most effective way to prevent security incidents, compared to only 49 percent in Europe. Instead, European businesses are investing in a wider variety of security solutions to protect their networks.

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