COVID-19 will trigger bump in tech like AI for a third of execs surveyed

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A third of tech execs in a survey said they will pivot to increase spending in AI, 5G and cloud, with more active investment in China than the U.S. (Pixabay)

A recent survey of 400 senior-level tech execs in the U.S. and China found about one-third are adapting to COVID-19 with plans to increase spending in AI, 5G, cloud native and other tech areas.

The focus on greater spending is almost double for companies in China as compared to the U.S., which may be because China has emerged from COVID-19 sooner than the U.S., according to the survey commissioned by Wind River, an edge software provider.

“In this COVID-19-shocked world, those most optimistic about the future of their business and the direction of their technology and development investments are the enterprises viewing this time as a time to accelerate and even change the nature of that transaction,” said Wind River CEO Kevin Dallas, in a statement.

The survey was given to 400 senior level technology executives from enterprises with revenues from $100 million to $1 billion in both the U.S. and China.  They work in sectors such as telecom, healthcare, automotive, aerospace and manufacturing.

Over the entire group, more than one-third said they are focused on surviving the Covid crisis, with another third saying they are spurred to make transformations that include increased spending.  Another third reported doing nothing.

Survey respondents who are in the transforming group said they are increasing spending for 5G projects, with 63% in China and 37% in the U.S. responding. Cloud app development increases were reported by 62% in China and 35% in the U.S. ; AI by 61% in China and 37% in the U.S.; container-based development by 56% in China and 38% in the U.S.; IoT by 60% in China and 33% in the U.S. ; and applications at the edge by 57% in China and 25% in the U.S.

The survey also found more than 80% of respondents in both countries believe they need to accelerate new business models and build in more agile software development approaches.

Recently, a smaller survey by IHS Markit of 46 semiconductor executives about their investments in auto R&D following COVID-19 found that 65% foresee delays in auto AI technology.

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