- Most chief information officers (CIOs) are prioritizing hybrid work and cybersecurity in 2022, with digital enablement the top area of focus overall.
- Most CIOs plan to develop their leadership skills in 2022, and most believe that they will have a successful year from a professional point of view.
- The majority of CIOs don’t expect a change in the IT budget in 2022, though half of those who expect an increased budget anticipate an increase greater than 5%.
- The emerging technologies most CIOs will be implementing in 2022 are artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) and business intelligence (BI).
- Talent attrition and COVID-19-related disruption are the most widespread anticipated challenges.
CIOs traditionally oversee the IT department within the organization, but as businesses introduce more digital processes, the CIO role may be expanding. In 2022, CIOs have many challenges to face, whether that’s the widely reported “Great Resignation,” the enablement of hybrid work as some regions lift pandemic restrictions or the myriad cybersecurity threats.
Amid the need for multiple areas of focus, what are CIOs prioritizing in 2022? Gartner Peer Insights polls executives in real-time, taking a pulse on trends and sentiment.
Tech decision makers can use this report to benchmark against their peers (and customizable, real-time results remain available to Gartner Peer Insights community members). These data were collected Jan 18 - Mar 27, 2022 and are based on responses from 100 CIOs.
Most CIOs are prioritizing hybrid work, cybersecurity and digital enablement in 2022
Most CIOs (61%) are prioritizing hybrid/flexible work infrastructure in 2022. Over half (52%) are prioritizing cybersecurity, while for 46%, digital transformation is a priority.
When asked to prioritize their top area of focus from a range of priorities, one in four cited digital enablement, but contributors to the related discussion on the Gartner Peer Insights platform reported a range of concerns – from cost reduction to cybersecurity.
Talent attrition is a major concern for CIOs
Looking at challenges in 2022, most CIOs identify talent attrition (64%) and ongoing COVID-related disruption (60%) as issues – challenges that may also be related. “COVID disruptions / work-from-home situations do not directly impact our priorities and projects” said one CIO from a midsized software company in the discussion on the Gartner Peer Insights platform. “But they still have a ripple effect on our customers and prospects and as such, they affect my IT budget indirectly.”
“The talent market will continue to be competitive and volatile in 2022,” added the CIO from a large software company. Also raised in the discussion: “Innovation needs to accelerate and solutions need to be agile to adjust to changing VUCA [volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity] environment.”
Other key CIO priorities for 2022
- Most CIOs (89%) believe they will have a successful year from a professional point of view in 2022.
- In terms of professional development, 64% plan to advance their leadership skills, and 44% hope to develop their ability to be digital-first leaders.
- Most CIOs (59%) are not expecting an IT budget change in 2022, although 30% do expect an increase, compared to 10% who expect a decrease.
- Of those CIOs who do expect a budget increase in 2022, 50% expect an increase of greater than 5%
“2022 will be a challenge from the point of view of budget restrictions,” one CIO told a discussion group on the Peer Insights platform.” “High inflation can have a negative impact on the budget and plans,” said another.
- AI/ML (57%) and BI tools (51%) are the emerging technologies most CIOs will be implementing in 2022.
- Looking specifically at emerging cybersecurity technologies, CIOs are focusing on in 2022, AI/ML (41%) and single sign-on (41%) are the most popular.
“Our top priority for this year is to increase our focus on cybersecurity, followed by enhancing our workflow automation and redefining our company strategy,” one CIO told peers in the related online discussion. “We are going to invest more in emerging tech solutions,” said another.