Virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) is coming into reality at many organizations who have processes in place for exploring emerging technologies, according to a report released on Thursday by Deloitte.

One-quarter of respondents to its survey of 500 executives at U.S. mid-market companies said that they have such a process in place – and at many of those companies, this process is led by IT department leaders. According to the report, 49 percent of technology adoption is led by IT department leaders, compared to only 36 percent in 2015.

"As C-suite attitudes toward technology shift, our clients are expanding the role and influence of IT leadership," said Stephen Keathley, deputy chief information officer, Deloitte Services LP and national technology leader of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services. "IT is becoming less of an administrative or support function, and is gaining an important seat at the table, driving technology adoption, integration and strategy."

Deloitte found that 19 percent of respondents reported a significantly higher technology spend compared to last year – great news for the service providers offering the bits and pieces in between hype and implementation, namely security. Thirty-six percent of company leaders said that managing cybersecurity and information risk is their top technology priority this year. More than half of respondents (54 percent) said data security is one of the top reasons to invest in cloud-based technology.

"The evolution of cloud computing has laid the groundwork for this accelerated wave of emerging technology adoption," Keathley said in a statement.  "As a result, more mid-sized companies are embracing the ingenuity of virtual and augmented reality and IoT to track business processes, anticipate customer behavior and maximize growth."

While 90 percent of respondents report to be using some sort of virtual reality in their organizations, almost all survey respondents indicated that they were investigating how to implement IoT in their companies, suggesting that despite the hype, IT leaders are seeing real business value in innovation.