Emerging Technologies in Europe

Emerging Technologies

European organizations dedicated 15% of their total IT budget to emerging technologies in 2021. This shows the importance of emerging technologies to organizations’ innovation and the role of these solutions in helping businesses cope and thrive during a crisis.

Based on the number of organizations adopting an emerging technology or planning to in the next 2 years, it is possible to outline an overall picture of the emerging tech market.

Emerging Technology in Europe: Surfing the Wave of Innovation

Emerging technologies are helping businesses drive growth and digital resilience. This webcast looks at how a focus on innovation is an effective approach for businesses to adapt and react to market changes.

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Rogue Robots Beware: IoT Zero-Trust Security is Coming to Get You

Set 30 to 40 years from now, the 2014 blockbuster Interstellar tells the story of time travel, black holes and a rather clever farmer who runs a fully automated farm. In one scene he uses his laptop to hack an autonomous weather drone hovering over his fields. We don’t need to time travel, however, to see that autonomous farming or IoT drone hacking are realities today.

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We have identified 3 main features that a technology needs to have to be defined as an emerging technology

Early maturity stage

The technology needs to be in an early stage, meaning that:

  • It is beyond the conceptual phase
  • It is still in the development phase
  • It already has a real business application

Changing the status quo

The technology must be able to change the status quo. It must be able to provide new ways of working and living.

Industrial AR/VR solutions, for example, are changing the way employees carry out maintenance processes in manufacturing, and how surgical training is provided in the healthcare sector.

Broad but still uncertain impact

We refer to a broad impact in terms of either the industry scope, or in the number of applications it has in the same industry.

Those applications are uncertain, however, either in the outcome or in the fact that they bear some potential risks.

Our Research Focus Areas


Given the speeds and capacity that 5G networks promise, they have the potential to be an indispensable technology to accelerate digital transformation and innovation.

5G is the fifth generation mobile network, and will usher in the fourth industrial revolution and change the economy.


Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of smart, interconnected devices and services that are capable of sensing or even listening to requests.

IoT solutions can be leveraged for many tasks, ranging from connecting devices, systems, and people, or simply exchanging data, to intelligent, real-world applications enabling environments such as factories and smart cities.


Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology in which transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature.

It is the perfect technology for organizations looking for more trust, security, transparency, and traceability of data shared across a business network, achieving cost savings and new efficiencies.


Biometrics is the most suitable means of identifying and authenticating individuals reliably and quickly. Unique biological characteristics, such as fingerprints,

iris scans, facial recognition, and voice are highly valued identifiers because they are universal, specific, measurable, and documentable. And unlike passwords, KYC responses or authentication tokens, users can't forget or misplace their biometrics.


Augmented and virtual reality represent a major revolution in the way we interact with computers. From remote team collaboration to training and industrial

maintenance, this technology is revolutionizing how we look at the world.

Quantum computing

Quantum computing is defined as a technology that harnesses and exploits quantum mechanics like superposition and entanglement to manipulate

enormous combinations of states at once for computations and to process information on a large scale. There are many areas in which the superior power and intelligence of quantum technologies can be leveraged, from technology and hospitality to defense and construction.

Edge computing

Edge computing is a distributed computing framework that brings enterprise applications closer to data sources such as IoT devices or local edge servers.

This proximity to data at its source can deliver strong business benefits, including faster insights, improved response times, and better bandwidth availability.


Robots are widely used in industries such as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks and in industries where work must be performed in

environments that are hazardous to humans. Enhanced safety, speed, and higher productivity are just a few of the many advantages that organizations achieve through this technology.


Artificial intelligence is the basis for mimicking human intelligence processes through the creation and application of algorithms built into a dynamic

computing environment. It forms the basis for all computer learning and is the future of all complex decision making, leveraging the incredible amount of data generated by both humans and machines.

Explore all the latest insights
on emerging tech

Insights from our lead analysts, as well as advice and research on how different and new technology trends are shaping and transforming the world.

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Meet the Team

Neil Ward-Dutton is vice president, AI and Intelligent Process Automation European Practices at IDC. Prior to joining IDC Neil was Founder and Research Director of MWD Advisors...

Neil Ward-Dutton

Vice president, Artificial Intelligence practice lead

Francesca Ciarletta is a research analyst based in London, working in IDC's European Services team and in our multidisciplinary European Cloud Practice...

Francesca Ciarletta

Research manager, Quantum Computing launchpad lead

Luca Butiniello is a research analyst for IDC's European Customer Insights & Analysis team. In this role he develops quantitative and qualitative vertical...

Luca Butiniello

Research analyst and Emerging technologies research stream lead

Kyla Lam is a research analyst at IDC, based in London. She examines the AR/VR and Wearables markets in Western Europe and conducts quantitative...

Kyla Lam

Research analyst

Andrea Minonne is a senior research analyst in the IDC Customer Insights & Analysis team in Europe. He is involved in IDC's Spending Guide portfolio...

Andrea Minonne

Senior research analyst, Augmented Humanity launchpad lead

Carla La Croce is a senior research analyst for IDC’s European Industry Solutions, Customer Insights & Analysis group. In her role she develops...

Carla La Croce

Senior research analyst

Gabriele Roberti is a research manager for IDC’s European Customer Insights & Analysis team. He joined IDC in 2012 as a local analyst for Italy...

Gabriele Roberti

Senior research manager, IoT and Edge practice lead

Stefano Perini is a senior research analyst for IDC’s European Customer Insights & Analysis team. In this role he develops both quantitative and...

Stefano Perini

Senior research analyst, Quantum Computing launchpad lead

Jack Vernon is a senior research analyst working on IDC’s European AI Systems service based in London. He is involved in producing forecasts...

Jack Vernon

Senior research analyst

Alexandra Rotaru is a research analyst for IDC’s European Customer Insights & Analysis team and is responsible for the both quantitative and qualitative...

Alexandra Rotaru

Research analyst

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