How remote work is changing CIO priorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic

A new survey from Adobe highlights the biggest priorities and challenges facing technology leaders and where they plan to invest in the future.

With most of the staff teleworking, these are the CIO's new priorities

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has upended business operations across the globe, forcing millions to take part in what's become a giant work-from-home experiment that could alter corporate work styles forever. The sudden shift to a remote workforce has also altered CIO priorities and enterprise initiatives, according to an Adobe survey.

The survey, which was conducted in mid-March with more than 200 CIO respondents in the US, highlights the biggest priorities and challenges facing technology leaders and where they plan to invest in the future. 

Unsurprisingly, the area of cybersecurity is a major CIO priority in the pandemic and post-pandemic world, with 7 in 10 organizations expecting to increase their financial investments in security technologies. Public cloud, infrastructure, and AI and machine learning will also receive financial boosts in many organizations, the survey found. 

"Like most business leaders, CIOs now have to rethink priorities, or at least reorder them, and we must reinvent ourselves now as virtual leaders," said Adobe CIO Cynthia Stoddard. "We're thinking even more about security due to the rapid shift to so many people working from home, while still working to drive business continuity through these unprecedented times."

On the COVID-19 response, most organizations feel they are set up to work remotely, but challenges for CIOs include communication and shortfalls in technology tools. Half of the businesses are still actively hiring, but 47% anticipate an impact on hiring cycles. 

Elsewhere in the report, 90% of respondents said they're using a public cloud service to some degree, but most data is housed on-premises. Roughly 1 in 3 organizations store half or more of their data in a public cloud, the survey found.