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 definitive benchmarking survey outlines the tech and business initiatives IT leaders expect to focus on in the coming year, where they expect to be more involved, and looks at how their line of business colleagues define them. 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. The top reason for this shift is the need for security improvements.

  • In 2023, CIOs anticipate their involvement will 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, followed by improving IT operations/systems performance, and aligning IT initiatives with business goals. However, thinking three years from now, CIOs hope to focus on driving business innovation and redesigning business processes.

  • 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 for further insights on the State of the CIO research:

Additional State of the CIO resources

Covers how the role of the CIO continues to evolve in today’s business climate as well as the CIO agenda for 2023.


Reviews the study and offers the real CIO perspective and advice as it relates to the results of the research.


Explores business & tech initiatives for 2023 as well as the CIO’s involvement in cybersecurity & operational efficiency.


Regional insights

Marketing to EMEA CIOs? View this infographic.

What’s on the APAC CIO’s agenda? Find out in this infographic.

Who is the North American CIO? View this infographic.

Research blog

To highlight key parts of the 2023 State of the CIO, Foundry partnered with IDC/CIO Executive Council for a discussion with Foundry executives and current CIOs. This excerpt hits the highlights of their conversation.

About the research

The 22nd annual State of the CIO survey was fielded online with the objective of understanding the current parameters of the CIO role and how it may be changing over time. To be considered qualified, respondents must have identified themselves as the head of IT for their company or a division within it. Results are based on 1,038 total respondents – 837 qualified IT respondents and 201 LOB responses. This study was fielded globally, with the response base being 44% North America, 24% EMEA, and 30% APAC.

Better understand the CIO audience

Explore how to sell to the CIO

It’s not always easy to sell technology. Here’s a guide for tech marketers to best understand who the CIO is, what they are focused on, and how to engage with them throughout the purchase process. View Foundry’s Selling to the CIO page.

Listen to what CIOs have to say

Each year, our study outlines how the CIO role continues to evolve in today’s business climate, and explores their business and tech initiatives as they navigate the impact of the current economic climate. See what they think this year.

How to market to CIOs around the world

Is your marketing scope region-specific? If so, it’s important to tailor your messaging – their priorities, responsibilities, and challenges may be very different in North America, EMEA or APAC. Check out these research findings.