According to Foundry’s 2024 CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities study, ITDMs consider AI their most important priority, while cybersecurity improvements continue to claim healthy portions of budgets and attention.

BOSTON Mass. (March 4, 2024) – Foundry, the media, data, and martech division of IDG, Inc. and publisher of, released today its annual CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities Study which looks at how organizations plan to allocate their IT budgets and focus their tech adoption strategies over the coming year. This year’s study surveyed 271 IT decision- makers across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

2024 will see tech budgets continue on an upward trajectory, with 86% of respondents stating that their budgets will either increase (54%) or remain steady (32%) over the next 12 months, and only 14% noting a decrease in IT investment.

“For more than fifteen years, CIO has explored the technology priorities of IT leaders through the CIO Tech Poll study,” said Amy Bennett, Global Editor in Chief at Foundry. “Over the years, cybersecurity initiatives have consistently consumed a significant share of IT’s budget and time, and this year is no different. But now IT leaders are carving out space for AI, with most saying they are increasing their investment in and exploring AI tools and technologies. This is new and rapidly advancing territory, and IT decision-makers will need to find a balance between investments in technology innovation and operations.”

Despite budgets trending upwards, ITDMs still feel underfunded, among other challenges

With AI now joining cybersecurity as a top priority for ITDMs this year, IT budgets may not be keeping pace with what’s expected of this department. Although 86% cited steady or rising budgets this year, 43% still say lack of budget was their main obstacle to new tech adoption over the past 12 months.

Resistance to change within the organization and shortage of staff followed as the second greatest challenges to new tech deployment (34%), followed by lack of appropriate skillsets for deployment (32%). Because of this, ITDMs are placing increased importance in upskilling existing talent (70%) and reskilling existing talent (63%) when it comes to keeping pace and effectively deploying new technology.

IT leaders carve out significant time and budget for researching and deploying AI

The AI hype is being felt by ITDMs in 2024, with both tech budgets and IT leaders’ time and attention being claimed by AI-related initiatives. When asked about their most important technology project this year, 29% said AI-enabled tech—up 23 percentage points from just 6% the year prior and taking the top spot in 2024. 64% also cited AI as having the greatest potential to significantly transform the way their business operates.

AI-enabled technology tops the list of technologies being actively researched, with 70% actively researching or piloting new initiatives in that area. Data-modeling tools to support in-house AI/ML projects came in second at 60%, signaling that IT leaders are understanding the imminent importance of having a sound data infrastructure to enable effective AI.

Tech investment has also swung towards AI significantly in 2024, with AI being cited as the top area receiving increased investment at 70%, closely followed by cybersecurity at 68%. By comparison, 2023’s study cited AI as the area receiving the fourth-most increased investment at 45%, marking a staggering 35 percentage point jump a year later.

Cybersecurity improvements a close second to AI as a strategic initiative in 2024

Even with 2024’s significant increases in AI investment, cybersecurity still looms large on IT leaders’ priority lists and wallets. Despite AI-related initiatives being cited as the most important project for this year, 64% of respondents agree that cybersecurity protection is the top area of improvement they need to focus on in the next 12 months. Further, Foundry’s recently released State of the CIO research found that addressing cybersecurity concerns was the number one distraction forcing CIOs to direct their focus away from strategic and innovative tasks.

Cybersecurity was also cited as receiving the second-most increase in investment this year at 68%, a slight uptick from last year’s 65% when cybersecurity topped the list by 16 percentage points (compared to BI/Analytics tools at 49% in the second spot).

Of the 80% of ITDMs anticipating to partner with a technology vendor this year, 46% specified that those relationships will be aimed at strengthening their cybersecurity protection. Looking into which specific cybersecurity tools ITDMs are actively researching, the top are behavior monitoring & analysis (35%), Zero Trust (33%), container security (28%), cloud data protection (26%), and DevSecOps tools (25%).

About the CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities Study

The 2024 CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities study was conducted online to Foundry’s audience throughout January 2024 with the objective of understanding which technology areas IT leaders are focused on over the next 12 months and measure the direction of spending within those categories. Results are based on 271 IT decision-makers. All survey respondents are involved in the purchase process for major IT or security products and services. To learn more about this year’s Tech Priorities Study, download the executive summary here.

Respondents represent companies primarily in North America (50%), with some in Europe (23%) and the Asia-Pacific region (23%). These companies come from a variety of industries, including technology, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and the services industry. Respondents’ companies have an average of 13,405 employees and average revenue of $5.36 billion

About Foundry, an IDG Inc. company  

Foundry helps companies bring their visions to reality through a combination of media, marketing technologies and proprietary data on a global scale. Our intent data and martech platforms are powered by data from an owned and operated ecosystem of global editorial brands, awards, and events, all engineered and integrated to drive marketing campaigns for technology companies. Foundry is dedicated to generating and innovating with data, driving demand for technology marketers with 38 offices in markets around the globe. Foundry is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group, Inc. (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, research and marketing services company.

To learn more about Foundry, visit

About CIO:

CIO focuses on attracting the highest concentration of enterprise CIOs and business technology executives with unparalleled peer insight and expertise on business strategy, innovation, and leadership. As organizations grow with digital transformation, CIO provides its readers with key insights on career development, including certifications, hiring practices and skills development. The award-winning CIO portfolio provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. CIO is published by Foundry, an IDG Inc. company.