IDG has released its 21st annual State of the CIO Report. The research provides insight into how the CIO’s role has become more elevated and evolved, as well as an in-depth analysis of technology and business initiatives CIOs plan to focus on in 2022.
According to IDG’s report, well over half (59%) of CIOs expect their budget to increase in 2022 – up from 49% in 2021. For enterprise, the increase in budget is even higher (63%) and slightly lower for SMBs at 55%. Only 10% of organizations expect their budget to decrease this year.
“From COVID-19 to digitization, the CIO role has evolved considerably over the last two years,” said Stacey Raap, Marketing & Research Manager, IDG Communications, Inc. “Our annual research highlights the major factors contributing to this shift and offers critical insight on how IT leaders are better balancing business innovation and operational greatness.”
Key findings from this year’s State of the CIO Report are as follows.
Security is the top concern for CIOs
According to IDG’s findings, more than half (57%) of CIOs surveyed indicated the need for security improvements as a top reason for increasing tech budget this year, followed by upgrading outdated IT infrastructure (48%) and investing in new skills and talent (48%). Likewise, over three-quarters (76%) anticipate their involvement with cybersecurity to increase over the next year, along with their involvement in data privacy and compliance (71%).
“The growing risk of cyber threats and the aftermath of a two-year long – and counting – pandemic has altered the technology landscape and intensified the need to prioritize security,” added Raap. “As a consequence, security is no longer just a technology issue. Instead, security is a fundamental business issue that requires CIOs to closely collaborate with organizational leaders across their company.”
Additional data capturing the focus on security include:
- Currently, CIOs are spending time on security management (51%), improving IT operations and systems performance (43%) and modernizing infrastructure and applications (40%).
- Additionally, when asked which of the following business initiatives will be most significant in driving IT investments at their organizations, 49% of CIOs said increasing cybersecurity protections, 46% said increasing operational efficiency and 42% said improving customer experience
- Further, 46% of CIOs said improving cybersecurity – followed by ensuring they have the right collaboration platform for their organization (32%) and improving network reliability and performance (27%) – are the top technology priorities for remote work.
The shifting role of the CIO
The CIO role bears more responsibility as it expands with a focus on digital transformation.
- 86% of CIOs say their role is becoming more digital and innovation-focused.
- The overwhelming majority (74%) agree their role was elevated due to the pandemic, and greater visibility within the organization is expected to continue. A significant percent of line of business respondents also agree with this statement (78%).
- CIOs are also largely considered to be strategic advisors (58%) within an organization, meaning they proactively identify business needs and opportunities. This is a significant increase from last year where just 28% of lines of business (LOB) considered CIOs to be strategic advisors.
As the IT industry continues to mature, so will the role and needs of the CIO. It’s important for business executives and CIOs to sync on how best to prepare and meet the needs of the industry in order to better arm CIOs with the appropriate budgets to deliver secure and harmonious technology solutions.