This year, organizations are prioritizing cost management and performance optimization as the economy continues to be in an unprecedented state. But CIOs are remaining optimistic and focusing on operations even while their leadership role expands in preparation for the next wave of digital innovation. Foundry’s annual State of the CIO research highlights this shift in IT priorities, gathering responses from 837 IT leaders and 201 line of business (LOB) executives.

CIO’s 22nd annual State of the CIO survey was conducted with the objective of understanding how the role of the CIO continues to evolve in today’s business climate and to help define the CIO agenda for 2023. This year’s global study particularly highlights the impact of the economic climate as well as the CIO’s initiatives to increase cybersecurity efforts and operational efficiency.

Key takeaways:

  • Technology budgets continue to see growth. 91% of CIOs expect their tech budget to either increase or stay the same in 2023.

  • In 2023, CIOs anticipate their involvement to increase in the following areas: cybersecurity (70%), data analysis (55%), data privacy (55%), AI/machine learning (55%), and customer experience (53%).

  • Throughout the upcoming year, CIOs will focus their time and expertise on security management. In fact, the need for security improvements was cited as the #1 reason for tech budgets increasing in 2023.

  • The technology initiatives that are expected to drive the most IT investment in 2023 are security/risk management, data/business analytics, application/legacy systems modernization, machine learning/AI, and customer experience technologies.

  • The CIO role was elevated due to the current state of the economy and this visibility within the organization is expected to continue (77% agree). Additionally, 38% of LOB respondents view the CIO as a strategic advisor, proactively identifying business needs and opportunities, and 25% view the CIO as a consultant (evaluating and advising on business needs, tech choices, etc.)

  • This year, we see Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) starting to have a marginal impact on the CIO role and IT buying plans. CIOs are being tasked to adhere to ESG standards and play a role in selecting clean information technology, cited by 64% of IT leaders.

View the sample slides below and download the 2023 State of the CIO executive summary for additional insight.