As more companies embark on their digital transformation journeys, IT and business leaders are working to determine what technologies have the biggest impact. According to data from ISACA’s 2018 Digital Transformation Barometer (DTB) report, the 5,000+ respondents listed the following five technologies as the most transformative.

  1. Big data – 28%
  2. Artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning – 25%
  3. Public cloud – 18%
  4. IoT – 12%
  5. Blockchain – 8%

While these technologies show promise, they are also facing major resistance within their organizations. Big data, AI, and public cloud were all also part of the top five technologies facing the most resistance, respondents said. Public cloud was the hardest hit, with 52% of respondents saying it faced resistance in their organization.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

Despite the resistance, many respondents said their technologies were already in the pipeline for deployment. Big data, AI, and public cloud were the top three technologies that respondents said would likely be deployed within a year. However, only 12% said blockchain deployments were in the works for the same timeline.

AI is facing explosive growth in testing and planned deployments, but practitioners don’t always see it as a safe bet. When polled, only 40% of respondents said they were confident in the security of their company’s AI deployments. In terms of the biggest threats that AI poses over the next five years, the survey takers listed social engineering, manipulated media content, and data poisoning.

“Enterprises must make the needed investments in well-trained staffs capable of putting AI safeguards in place,” ISACA Board Chair Rob Clyde said in a press release. “As AI evolves–consider the likely proliferation of self-driving vehicles, or AI systems designed to reduce urban traffic–it will become imperative that enterprises can provide assurance that the AI will not take action that puts people in harm’s way.”

Overall, some 91% of those surveyed said they were pursuing digital transformation, so these emerging technologies are important to keep in mind. Still, 64% said they faced challenges with integrating these new tools.

“It’s impossible to guarantee results when deploying less familiar technologies, but this survey suggests that organizations that have adopted new technologies overwhelmingly consider their journeys to be worthwhile,” Clyde said in the release. “As organizations continue to navigate uncertain territory, finding qualified leaders to help steer these journeys and instill an organizational commitment to innovation is critical.”

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Big data, AI, public cloud, IoT, and blockchain are the five most transformative technologies in the enterprise. — ISACA, 2018
  • 91% of organizations are pursuing digital transformation, but 64% are encountering challenges with integrating new technologies. — ISACA, 2018