- With recession fears still looming over the economy, organizations have increased their reliance on CIOs, an executive whose profile as a change-maker has been elevated, according to Foundry's State of the CIO report published Thursday.
- More than three-quarters of CIOs said the state of the economy has elevated their role within their organizations, and leaders expect this heightened visibility to continue. The firm surveyed 837 IT executives.
- Just 9% of surveyed executives said their companies would reduce IT spending this year, with security improvements, upgrades to outdated IT infrastructure and app modernization as the top drivers of IT spending.
The recent spate of adverse economic indicators has accelerated an ongoing trend in recent years: companies expect their technology leaders to optimize operations. Digital tools are part of the arsenal, but modernization and innovation are quickly rising in priority.
Economic conditions have put a new level of pressure on CIOs, said Holly McWalter, marketing and research specialist at Foundry, in the report.
“This year’s research showcases how this pressure trickles down to important decisions regarding priorities and budget, and provides insight into how CIOs are moving their business forward," McWalter said.
In a September 2022 study from Lenovo, nine in 10 CIOs said their purview had expanded beyond technology to include areas typically associated with human resource and workforce management, sales and marketing and sustainability and diversity.
With more insight into broader business aspirations, technology executives can help guide enterprise response to economic troubles.
Tech talent strategy is another critical area for leaders to address, particularly as large technology companies, from Salesforce to IBM, continue to downsize staff.
"Avoid layoffs in the technologies and skills that keep you safe and resilient and the ones that allow you to differentiate," one report from Forrester suggests. "Cutting there would backfire as your high-performing talent shows itself the door and proves hard to refill when the market rebounds."