Business leaders want immediate benefits from technology amid economic uncertainty

Emerging Tech Unpacked Report from Endava finds businesses are betting on generative AI, predictive analytics and big data.

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Endava has found that given ongoing uncertainty within the tech sector, most decision makers are choosing technologies that offer more noticeable, near-term benefits. The findings are included in Endava’s 2024 Emerging Tech Unpacked Report, which launches today and explores which new and emerging technologies business leaders are investing in.

The report, which surveyed almost 700 organisations of various sizes and industries globally found that in the drive towards operational efficiency, AI and generative AI were the top two priorities for organisations included in the study. Remarkably, just 1% of respondents are unfamiliar with artificial intelligence technologies, and less than 3% say it’s irrelevant to their business.

Big data and predictive analytics emerged as the third- and fourth-highest priorities among organisations, with over a third of respondents already implementing both technologies and a further 30% in the process of doing so.

Internet of things (IoT) was the fifth-highest priority for the study’s participants. 40% of respondents already use IoT in some capacity, making it the most implemented technology in this year’s study.

The report uncovers a pattern of hesitation from leaders to invest in projects involving more ‘conjectural’ technology and suggests that they are instead focusing on technologies which are more likely to offer near-term benefits. When respondents were questioned about AI, for example, nearly 50% placed it as one of their top three initiatives and 43% did the same for generative AI. However, when respondents were asked about the metaverse, 53% said it would be moderately or very relevant; however, only 17% have actually implemented a strategy.

ESG stewardship has cemented itself as more than a trend. On the contrary, ESG is proving to be an important driver for businesses, and respondents said that attracting customers and increasing operational efficiency remain the leading driving factors, with almost three quarters of respondents rating ESG as relevant to their business. Interestingly, however, only 17% of respondents actually had an implementation strategy in place.

Speaking on the research, Endava CTO Matthew Cloke said, “As the global economy has faced a great deal of uncertainty in recent years, business leaders are focused on ensuring that their investments are placed in technologies which are most likely to provide near-term tangible benefits and resilience. With this in mind, it is understandable that companies are putting large amounts of resources into artificial intelligence, particularly generative AI, as many expect to see an almost immediate impact, as well as these benefits continuing down the line.”

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