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Gartner: Board of Directors, not IT, main decision maker for emerging technology investments

by Marco van der Hoeven

Fifty-three per cent of organisations report their board of directors are among the main decision makers for emerging technology (ET) investments, just behind chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs), according to a recent Gartner survey.

“ET purchase decisions are no longer under the sole purview of IT,” said Danielle Casey, senior principal research analyst at Gartner. “The business has more confidence in these technologies as they move past hype and toward tangible ROI, resulting in growing investments and scaling out projects.”


5G drew the highest average investment in 2021, with survey respondents reporting an average of $465,000 invested in the technology. This was followed by IoT at $417,000 and edge technologies (i.e., edge AI and edge computing) at $262,000. Edge technologies are projected to experience the highest investment increase in 2022, growing 76% to $462,000.

“Organisations are using 5G and edge technologies to improve employee productivity, augment existing products and services by making them more connected and intelligent, and automate business processes,” said Casey.


Ninety per cent of survey respondents reported ET investments are either meeting or exceeding user expectations. In the few instances when ET did not meet expectations, it was not always due to the technology itself: 20% of respondents whose expectations were not being met reported staff related issues, such as the lack of skills or adoption by staff, as a main inhibitor to ET adoption. Twelve percent were due to unexpected costs.

“The survey showed that the most important consideration when selecting one vendor’s ET over the other is their ability to provide demonstrable use cases and a track record of success,” said Casey. “Product managers should emphasise business value and communicate success stories when promoting ET to keep this momentum of adoption and investment going.”



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