A new study from IDG Communications finds that more than half (57 percent) of CIOs surveyed indicate the need for security improvements as a top reason for increasing tech budgets this year.
This is followed by upgrading outdated IT infrastructure (48 percent) and investing in new skills and talent (48 percent). In addition, over three-quarters (76 percent) think their involvement with cybersecurity will increase over the next year, along with their involvement in data privacy and compliance (71 percent).
The report also shows that 59 percent of CIOs expect their budget to increase in 2022 — up from 49 percent in 2021. For enterprises, the expected increase in budget is even higher (63 percent), but slightly lower for SMBs at 55 percent. Only 10 percent of organizations expect their budget to decrease this year.
“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,” says Stacey Raap, marketing and research manager at IDG Communications. “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.”
Currently, CIOs are spending their time on security management (51 percent), improving IT operations and systems performance (43 percent) and modernizing infrastructure and applications (40 percent). The pandemic effect is still evident too, with 32 percent focused on finding the right collaboration platform for their organization and 27 percent on improving network reliability and performance for remote work.
This is also reflected in the changing role of the CIO, with 86 percent saying their role is becoming more digital and innovation-focused, while 74 percent agree that their role has been elevated due to the pandemic, and this greater visibility within the organization is expected to continue.
“From COVID-19 to digitization, the CIO role has evolved considerably over the last two years,” adds Raap. “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.”
The 21st annual State of the CIO Report is available from the IDG Communications site.