The biggest trends in midmarket IT are captured at each Midsize Enterprise Summit through an extensive CIO survey. Attendees at MES Spring and Fall answer a comprehensive survey about their challenges and organizational opportunities when it comes to tech and the CIO’s role.

During a recent briefing with IT vendors and MES Board members, Gartner analyst Mike Cisek shed some light on the five trends reshaping the midmarket and the change in buying behaviors among IT leaders at midmarket companies.

Cisek, who studies the SMB market for Gartner along with key infrastructure technologies, listed the adoption of emerging data center solutions among midmarket companies as one of the most significant trends of the year followed by what he termed the strategic and tactical use of cloud infrastructure and application services. An important element of the emerging data center solution set is hyper convergence which Cisek has been writing about for the past two years. Here is some of his insight on SimpliVity

Among the other trends driving change in the midmarket are CIOs’ efforts to improve security prevention, detection and response. Security, Cisek said, has emerged as the one of the most pressing issues facing midmarket IT leaders today as they respond to business leaders who want to make sure proprietary data and customer information is protected and secured. According to MES Board members which include a cross section of industries and employee sizes, security is occupying more of their time, resources and budgets. However, as one CIO said, business leaders have pressured IT to make security a priority but are not willing to allocate the needed budget or investment required to safeguard their organizations properly.

The fourth major trend Cisek cited from the MES study which he maps to Gartner’s broader CIO studies was the use of analytics to improve business and IT operations. This was certainly not a surprise to many longtime MES attendees and IT vendors as business intelligence has played a prominent role in the discussions over the past several years. But the emergence of new and more affordable and cloud-based analytic solutions is turning some of this discussion into a reality. It is also the reason CIOs are driving investments around the Internet of Things as companies seek to extract valuable data from embedded devices to respond to customer and supplier product use. MES CIOs said IoT is quickly becoming one of their biggest areas of focus.

The other major trend which has been a topic of conversation at MES for the past year is the enablement of the digital workplace. Gartner has done extensive research on this topic and it has been at the center of the company’s IT Symposium conference. Midmarket companies have an advantage here over their enterprise rivals or even small businesses. Because many midsize companies have a formal IT department they provide assets to their employees in digital form and extend applications to all workers to boost productivity and provide deeper insight into company metrics. Smaller companies are not as organized and larger organizations are burdened by an inability to move quickly due to their size and processes. This article in Forbes may be a bit dated but addresses the digital workplace with some great insight.

Cisek remains very bullish on the midmarket and cited his five trends as a reason he remains confident IT spending will rise along with productivity in the midmarket. “Spending across the board is heading in the right direction,” he said. Cisek attributes much of the gain to investments midmarket companies are making in cloud services. “From the analysis, the interest in cloud is driving the increase in budget areas,” he told vendors and CIOs.

No doubt, that the five trends Cisek identified as driving change in the midmarket all have some tie to the use of private, public and hybrid solutions.

You can learn more about these trends at the upcoming MES Fall event which features a lineup of incredible speakers and peer-to-peer engagement. Use this link to learn more:

Robert DeMarzo is the senior vice president of event content and strategy for The Channel Company which operates the MES events. In addition to his work on MES, DeMarzo oversees content for the XChange conferences, Best of Breed Conference and Women of the Channel.  You can follow him on twitter at @rdemarzo.