Technology adoption rates statistics

Technology Adoption Rate Statistics [2020 Edition]

In this article, we will look at some of the most important technology adoption rate statistics for consumer technology, enterprise technology, emerging technology, and more.

Technology Adoption Rate Statistics

First, let’s look at a few statistics related to technology adoption in general, such as cellular phone adoption, social media adoption, and the adoption of electronic devices:


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  • Internet adoption among US adults increased from 52% to 90% between 2000 and 2019 (Pew)
  • Cell phone usage in US households increased from 10% in 1994 to 96% in 2019 (Our World in Data)
  • Tablet adoption increased from 3% in 2010 to 64% in 2017 (Our World in Data)
  • Color TV adoption increased from 10% in 1966 to 64% in 1976 (Our World in Data)
  • Electricity took 30 years to achieve 10% adoption (Technology Review)
  • Tablets took less than 5 years to achieve 10% adoption (Technology Review)
  • Social media use increased from 5% to 72% between 2005 and 2011 (Pew)
  • 3% of Americans over 65 used social media in 2005, compared to 40% in 2018 (Pew)
  • 7% of those between 18-29 used social media in 2005, compared to 90% in 2018 (Pew)

Information such as this becomes even more relevant when we look at how today’s emerging technology will roll out in the years to come.

Emerging Technology Adoption Statistics

Now, let’s compare the above technologies, which have already been adopted, to emerging technologies that have yet to achieve full market penetration:

  • In 2018, enterprise SaaS platforms only accounted for 15% of total software expenditure, but growth continued at 32% per year (Synergy)
  • 40% of businesses said that COVID-19 drove their adoption to the cloud (MariaDB)
  • By 2022, Gartner predicts that 75% of all databases will be in the cloud (Gartner)
  • As of May 2020, 88% of enterprises used cloud in one form or another (O’Reilly)
  • 25% of businesses plan to move completely to the cloud within one year (O’Reilly)
  • By 2018, 47% of businesses had embedded at least one AI capability in their businesses, compared to 20% in 2017 who said they were using AI in a core part of their businesses or at scale (McKinsey)
  • That same survey found that robotic process automation (RPA), computer vision, and machine learning were the most commonly deployed AI functions (McKinsey)
  • As of March, 2020, 85% of businesses said they were evaluating AI or using it in production (O’Reilly)
  • 22% of respondents in that survey felt that a lack of institutional support was the biggest barrier to AI adoption (O’Reilly)

Next, let’s look at how work trends and technology interact and impact adoption rates – specifically, let’s look at telecommuting, which became widespread in 2020.

Remote Working Adoption Statistics

Here are a few remote working statistics that can demonstrate how quickly remote working has been adopted which will, as a result, directly affect the adoption of related technologies, such as cloud computing and remote working software:

  • In April 2020, 46.6% of UK workers were doing at least some remote work (ONS)
  • 86% of those said that they began telecommuting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (ONS)
  • US remote workdays have doubled during the pandemic (Gallup)
  • As of August 31, 2020, 1 in 4 workers in the US said they were working entirely from home (Gallup)

Another important topic to consider when examining adoption, particularly enterprise software implementation, is employee skills, which directly affect a company’s ability to successfully adopt new tools.

Digital Skills Statistics

Finally, let’s look at a few statistics related to employee skills and training, both of which are crucial to enterprise technology adoption:

  • 62% of employees feel that they lack skills and their employers don’t offer enough training and support (IBM)
  • 86% of executives felt they provided clear communications and guidelines on how to work in today’s environment, but only 51% of employees felt the same (IBM)
  • 82% of ASEAN CEOs were concerned about the availability of key skills (PwC)
  • A survey of digital marketers found that 63% of US firms felt that a digital focus would be critical in the next few years (Digital Marketing Institute)
  • Despite this need, the same survey found that only 18% of digital marketing firms provided essential training support (Digital Marketing Institute)
  • The World Economic Forum predicts that more than half of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022 (World Economic Forum)

All of these statistics reveal some very interesting trends and lessons around technology adoption – let’s see what we can learn from this information.

Key Takeaways

Here are a few takeaways that this data shows:

  • Adoption timelines are shrinking. The timeline for technology adoption is shrinking, as the above statistics demonstrated. In the 20th century, for instance, it often took decades for people to adopt devices such as TVs. Yet after 2000, it took far less time to achieve the same level of market penetration.
  • Today’s emerging technology will become the norm in less time. Since technology adoption timelines have been getting shorter and shorter, we can presume that the same pattern will hold true for many of today’s newest technologies. SaaS, AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies, for instance, will probably be adopted very quickly compared to past technologies. Businesses should therefore plan accordingly by investing in research, development, and training.
  • The digital skills gap is widening fast. To use business software effectively, employees must often learn an entirely new skill set. Despite the growing need for digitally skilled employees, some of the data above suggests that employers aren’t investing enough in employee development plans.

For more information about digital adoption, digital technology, and digital transformation trends, visit our digital adoption blog.

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