2021 State of the CIO

CIO’s 20th annual State of the CIO research aims to better understand how the role of the CIO continues to evolve in today’s business climate and helps define the CIO agenda for 2021. This global study outlines the technology and business initiatives that will drive IT investment in the coming year, as well as insight into the CIO role when it comes to the pandemic and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Due to the impact of the pandemic, 82% of CIOs say that they have implemented new technologies, IT strategies and/or methodologies. In fact, 37% say that they increased their 2020 IT budgets during this time, proving the necessity of tech for business growth and maintenance.

Key Findings:

  • The pandemic continues to fuel technology adoption and IT leaders anticipate healthy tech budgets for 2021 – 49% of IT leaders anticipate their tech budgets to increase.
  • Although CIOs have previously thought that their security posture would dissipate, CIOs continue to focus their time and expertise on security management.
      • 57% say that increase cybersecurity protections increased as a priority due to current socio-economic conditions in 2020. This increases to 62% for APAC CIOs, decreases to 50% for EMEA, and remains 57% for North America CIOs.
  • CIOs are tasked with the creation of new revenue-generating initiatives. Actions that have increased in importance include automating business and/or IT processes, interacting directly with customers, and developing a customer journey.
  • The technology initiatives that are expected to drive the most IT investment in 2021 are data/business analytics, security/risk management, enterprise applications (cloud-based), customer experience technologies, and AI/ML tools.
      • Security tools rise to the top for North American organizations, while data & analytics will be the key drivers for APAC and EMEA.
  • CIOs feel that their organization understands that the rate of innovation increases if diversity and inclusion is embedded into technology teams and CIOs are not taking this lightly.
      • 72% say that they are making diversity and inclusion a priority during the IT hiring process.

View the sample slides below and download the executive summary for additional insight. For first-hand perspective and advice from CIOs as they navigate the new tech landscape, watch the 2021 State of the CIO webcast.

To request a meeting with an IDG sales executive to walk through the full study, please complete the form at the right.