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Spiceworks 2019 Predictions: Rising IT Budgets Pave the Way for Emerging Tech Adoption

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks

Rising IT Budgets Pave the Way for Emerging Tech Adoption

Every year during the holidays, there are reliable things we can count on. In addition to bright holiday lights, family feasts where we eat to excess, and shopping galore, you know that people everywhere will make predictions about what will happen in the coming year.

For tech predictions, Spiceworks has data covering technology usage, IT budgets, adoption of best practices, and more. Thanks to IT professionals who share insights about their forward-looking tech plans through the year, we practically have a magical crystal ball that reveals what the biggest tech trends will be in 2019 ... and beyond. Behold, our predictions for the new year!

1. Aging tech infrastructure will drive IT budget increases.

According to Spiceworks' 2019 State of IT Budgets report, most companies (89 percent) across North America and Europe expect their IT budgets to either grow or stay steady over the next 12 months. IT budgets at large enterprises are the most likely to increase: 56 percent of companies with 5,000+ employees expect their IT budgets to grow.

What forces are causing companies to boost their IT spending? The need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure will be the top driver of budget increases in 2019 - after all, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 end of service are just around the corner - followed by businesses placing more priority on IT projects, and increased security concerns. Additionally, IT pros also said their organizations will increasingly test the waters with emerging technologies, such as AI and blockchain.

2. Container technology will see real adoption.

According to the 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech report, which covers forward-looking business adoption of emerging technologies, container tech is at an inflection point in its adoption cycle. Until recently, the technology was primarily used by innovators and early adopters.

But in 2019, containers will become a more mainstream technology. While approximately 18 percent of organizations used containers in 2018, that number is poised to grow to approximately 40 percent by 2020. And among larger businesses, adoption rates are even higher. Our research indicates containers will be used by the majority of large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees by the end of 2019, and the majority of mid-size companies with between 500 to 999 employees by the end of 2020.

3. Blockchain adoption rates will double in large enterprises.

Perhaps one of the most hyped technologies over the last several years has been blockchain, or encrypted ledgers stored on a distributed network of computers that can help participants share data securely. According to our 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech, 25 percent of large enterprises with 5,000+ employees are currently using blockchain-enabled tech.

By the end of 2019, we expect blockchain usage in large enterprises to almost double to 48 percent. And by 2020, 56 percent of large enterprises expect to use blockchain in one form or another - but not necessarily for cryptocurrencies. Instead, many businesses will likely use private or permissioned blockchains to share data among other trusted organizations for use cases such as tracking items through a supply chain.

4. Regulation will encourage more innovation in Europe.

Our 2019 State of Future of Workplace Tech report also shows companies in Europe plan to adopt emerging technologies at a much faster rate than their North American counterparts. This trend holds true for hyperconverged infrastructure, container technology, 3D printing, serverless computing, edge computing, artificial intelligence, VR, and blockchain. That's quite the list!

One potential reason for the emphasis on newer technologies is GPDR - with its huge fines serving as an impetus for companies to innovate. It seems those constant reminders for organizations to invest in upgrading their aging IT infrastructure to meet regulatory challenges might have actually worked.


5. Organizations will use AI to fight new security threats. 

In 2019, organizations will also invest in emerging security solutions to protect their networks from cyberattacks. Among newer security tools, anti-ransomware solutions, employee security training tools (e.g., end user security testing), hardware-based authentication (e.g., security tokens), and breach detection systems currently enjoy the highest adoption rates. However, we're also expecting adoption of AI-powered security solutions to rise. In fact, more than half of enterprises with 1,000+ employee plan to use them by 2020.

Why? Larger businesses often have to secure complex networks with thousands of endpoints to lock down. With new vulnerabilities being discovered all the time and cybercriminals constantly turning out new variants of malware, it's been hard for more traditional security products to keep up.

Artificial intelligence will equip companies with one more weapon in the cybersecurity arms race. Security solutions with AI might help organizations better detect and respond to cyberattacks quickly ... even zero-day threats that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

Looking forward into 2019 and beyond

Next year will bring big changes in IT. The IT budget outlook for 2019 is positive, and many organizations will upgrade aging IT infrastructure to update older hardware and get ahead off end of service issues. And as budgets rise - particularly in large enterprises - many of these organizations will also implement AI-enabled security solutions and invest in other emerging technologies. From containers to blockchain to AI, 2019 will be a time when businesses actually deploy technologies we've been talking about for years.


About the Author


Peter Tsai is a senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. Formerly a systems administrator, programmer, and server engineer who has lived IT from the inside and out, Peter now works to serve up IT articles, reports, infographics, and livecasts that inform and entertain millions of IT pros in Spiceworks worldwide.

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018 7:17 AM by David Marshall
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