Gartner survey of CIOs highlights investments in AI, cloud and cybersecurity

Gartner surveyed more than 2,300 CIOs from 85 countries on how they're spending their budgets.

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A new survey from Gartner found that a majority of CIOs are focusing their investments this year and next year on AI and distributed cloud technology.

The 2022 CIO and Technology Executive Survey features data gleaned from 2,387 CIO and technology executive respondents in 85 countries, representing about $9 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $198 billion in IT spending. The survey focused on  "business composability", -- which involves the mindset, technologies and set of operating capabilities that enable organizations to innovate and adapt quickly to changing business needs.

Monika Sinha, research vice president at Gartner, said business composability is an "antidote to volatility."

"63% of CIOs at organizations with high composability* reported superior business performance compared with peers or competitors in the past year. They are better able to pursue new value streams through technology, too," Sinha said, adding that the findings from the survey were presented during the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas. 

Topping the list of planned investments for 2022, cyber and information security was cited by 66% of all respondents as an area that they expected to increase investment for next year. 

More than half said business intelligence and data analytics would also be areas where they plan to invest heavily next year. 

"There is a continued need to invest in cybersecurity as the environment becomes more challenging. A high level of composability would help an enterprise recover faster and potentially even minimize the effects of a cybersecurity incident," Sinha said.

CIOs and technology executives at high-composability enterprises told Gartner that for 2022, they expect an increase in revenues by about 7.7% and a growth in IT budgets by about 4.2%. According to Gartner, low-composability enterprises only expect both to increase by 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively. 

Sinha explained that most high-composability enterprises set up strategic planning and budgeting as a continuous and iterative activity to adjust to change more easily. 

"Without big deficits to remedy elsewhere, CIOs can afford to invest in composability, especially for IT developers and business architects who can design in a composable manner," Sinha said, adding that globally, IT budgets are expected to grow at the fastest rate in over ten years with an average growth of 3.6% in overall IT budget for 2022 reported among all survey respondents.

The survey also focused on how CIOs can push for composable thinking, composable business architecture and composable technology.

"Business composability isn't uniformly high across the economy because it requires business thinking to be reinvented. Traditional business thinking views change as a risk, while composable thinking is the means to master the risk of accelerating change and to create new business value," Sinha added.

"Digital business initiatives fail when business leaders commission projects from the IT organization and then shirk accountability for the implementation results, treating it as just another IT project. Instead, high-composability enterprises embrace distributed accountability for digital outcomes, reflecting a shift that most CIOs have been trying to make for several years, as well as creates multidisciplinary teams that blend business and IT units to drive business results."

Sinha noted that business runs on technology, but technology itself must be composable to run composable businesses. Composability, Sinha explained, needs to extend throughout the technology stack, from infrastructure that supports rapid integration of new systems and new partners to workplace technology that supports the exchange of ideas.

"CIOs at moderate-or low-composability enterprises must internalize these three domains of business composability to make their organization nimbler and well equipped to handle the rapidly changing business environment in which they operate," Sinha said. "It's a gradual but imperative process going into 2022 and beyond."