Emerging Technology Adoption Q2 2021

As tech leaders navigate Q2 2021, the business world continues to evolve. With lockdowns beginning to lift in certain geographies, are emerging technologies taking on a more prominent role in business goals? 

Pulse surveyed over 300 tech executives to understand, in Q2:

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Emerging Technology Adoption Q2 2021

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Data collected from April 14 - May 13, 2021

Respondents: 391 Tech decision-makers

Spend increases anticipated for emerging technologies in Q2—and boards remain receptive

Most (50%) decision-makers report an innovation budget of 0-5% of revenue in Q2 2021.

Though 84% are willing to spend more on emerging technologies compared to a year ago.

And over two-thirds (67%) believe their board is willing to invest in emerging technologies.

Moreover, almost two-thirds (62%) are also expecting innovation spend to increase in Q3. 

Emerging tech still primarily sought to optimize current goals, rather than redefine—and IT automation is the main target

Decision-makers find emerging tech most useful for optimizing current business goals (66%), rather than redefining business goals (21%).

When it comes to the specific business processes leaders are looking to solve with emerging tech, IT automation (66%), customer experience (63%), and cybersecurity (51%) make up the top three. 

This is a change from Q1, where customer experience ranked first (68%) and IT automation was second (63%).

AI/ML, automation, and distributed cloud still the most sought out emerging tech—and increased efficiencies remain the key metric for success

Looking at the actual tech that decision-makers want to implement, AI/ML (62%), automation (50%), and distributed cloud (36%) are being prioritized.

Leaders primarily measure the success of their new technologies by increased efficiency (51%), drastically ahead of other measures such as increased user satisfaction (16%) and reduced costs (11%) in second and third respectively.

Leaders dedicate time to research innovation, mostly through tech news platforms/podcasts and peer recommendation—and most explore startups as an option

79% of decision-makers set aside time for the team to specifically explore innovative trends.

The decision-makers themselves primarily turn to tech news and podcasts (36%) when researching emerging technologies, followed by peer recommendations (29%) and analyst firms (16%).

69% of leaders engage with startups at least sometimes when weighing up an emerging technology purchase.

Respondent Breakdown


Emerging Technology Adoption Q2 2021

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About Pulse

Pulse is a social research platform trusted by technology leaders around the world. These leaders rely on the community to make connections, share knowledge, get advice, and stay on top of current trends in the technology space. The questions, polls, and surveys posted in the platform are curated in Pulse's One-Minute White Paper reports, which reflect what technology leaders care about right now—and in the rapidly evolving world of software, real-time data and insights in what matters most.