Research May 2006: CIOs Start Adopting Emerging Technologies More Cautiously

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 05-17-2006

Recently adopted technologies have been a success. Once-emerging technologies that have since been widely adopted almost always provide the business value their users hoped for. In fact, nearly every technology exceeded expectations more often than they failed to meet them. It's an encouraging track record, and it should embolden companies to pursue new technologies more aggressively.

Instead, for the second year in a row, fewer companies are claiming a payoff from emerging technologies. And as we feared, fewer companies see themselves as early adopters and far more are late adopters.

True, the share of the IT budget continues to grow, but that's because spending on many kinds of hardware and software is flat, while spending on a few emerging technologies such as virtualization, RFID and other wireless/mobile technologies is up. (See our February 2006 spending survey for the numbers.)

What's going on? Companies are adopting emerging technologies to improve the bottom line, rather than the top line.

Process improvement is the major reason companies adopt new technologies. Reducing costs and increasing productivity are a strong No. 2 and No. 3. Even among the early adopters, more than half are applying new technologies mainly for those purposes. (Scroll down to see a chart of which technologies companies have found most successful.)

Would companies get a better payoff from emerging technologies if they found ways to use them to build revenues and create new products? We think so. What emerging technologies are on your CIO's radar screen—and which aren't? Read our 2006 survey's findings:

  • Computing and Software Technologies
  • Mobility, Collaboration and Business Process Technologies
  • Emerging technologies that have yet to emerge
  • Are CIOs Ignoring Web 2.0 Technologies?

    Read our previous emerging technology surveys:

  • Innovation Makes Emerging Technologies Pay Off
  • Emerging Technologies 2004: What's the Business Case for New Technologies?
  • Emerging Technologies 2003: Are New Technologies Adding Business Value?









    What emerging technologies are on your CIO's radar screen—and which aren't? Read our 2006 survey's findings:

  • Computing and Software Technologies
  • Mobility, Collaboration and Business Process Technologies
  • Emerging technologies that have yet to emerge
  • Are CIOs Ignoring Web 2.0 Technologies?

    Read our previous emerging technology surveys:

  • Innovation Makes Emerging Technologies Pay Off
  • Emerging Technologies 2004: What's the Business Case for New Technologies?
  • Emerging Technologies 2003: Are New Technologies Adding Business Value?