SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis — Top End User Priorities in Digital Transformation, Global, 2019 — measures the current use and future decision-making behavior toward IT and communications, monitors the status of digital transformation (including the implementation plans for emerging technologies, such as AI, IoT, and blockchain), and evaluates drivers behind investments and challenges across verticals and regions.

“Keeping pace with new and continuously evolving security threats is a key reason for ongoing digital transformations,” said Marta Bierca, Customer Research Director at Frost & Sullivan. “Security is the No. 1 critical decision-making factor. It is also one of the top reasons companies plan to replace technologies they currently use. Ensuring a high level of network security must be a big part of decision-making when developing products over the next two years.”

Key findings include:

  • The retail (44%) and transportation (43%) sectors are ahead of others in their digital transformation.
  • More than two-thirds of companies feel the sales and marketing department will be the most impacted by digital transformation.
  • Enhancing customer experience, digital presence, and sales and marketing effectiveness are the three major drivers for IT/telecom investment over the next two years.
  • Improving operational efficiencies is a top priority in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, while upgrading customer experience and satisfaction is the most important corporate goal in North America and Europe for 2020.
  • Malware (41% of companies) remains the greatest security threat, followed by security misconfiguration and hacking. Malware is common in both smartphone and desktop platforms.
  • The IoT is being used by 65% of companies. Almost 42% of organizations are developing the IoT through a third-party service provider. The government is the predominant developer of in-house IoT.
  • IT and communications, finance, banking, and insurance are the top industries implementing AI.
  • Cost of integration remains a major setback for the adoption of new digital technologies.

The Top End User Priorities in Digital Transformation report is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Information & Communications Technologies Growth Partnership Service program. The research was conducted between April and June 2019 with 1,636 IT decision-makers in 14 countries. C-level executives covering a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, banking, finance and insurance, health care, IT and communications, and retail make up 45% of decision-makers.