Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security are the top priorities for corporate IT decision-makers this year. This is the conclusion of the “CIO Tech Poll 2024: Tech Priorities” by Foundry, a subsidiary of the media company IDG. While cyber security has been high on the list of priorities for IT decision-makers for several years, the testing and implementation of AI tools has skyrocketed in importance in recent months.



Measures for higher cyber security: This is the best way to proceed

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IT budgets for innovative topics are increasing – but not enough

Overall, CIOs are faced with the challenge of allocating their investments in the best possible way to the realization of technological innovations and to ensuring the smooth operation of the IT landscape. In the “CIO Tech Poll 2024: Tech Priorities”, 86% of respondents state that their IT budgets will either increase (54%) or remain the same (32%) over the next twelve months. 14% of companies are reducing their investments in IT. Despite the increasing budgets, many CIOs do not consider the investments to be sufficient in view of the diverse fields of action.


For 43% of respondents, a lack of budget was the biggest obstacle to the introduction of new technologies in the past twelve months. Resistance to change within the company and personnel shortages (34%) as well as a lack of skills among IT employees (32%) were also cited as causes. Accordingly, CIOs are increasingly focusing on further training (70%) and retraining (63%) in order to be able to use new technologies more effectively in the future. They are planning more time and budget for researching and using AI in particular.


Most important projects revolve around AI

When asked about their most important project in 2024, 29% of IT decision-makers cited AI-supported technologies – an increase of a whopping 23% compared to the previous year. 64% are convinced that AI has the greatest potential to fundamentally change the way companies work. Currently, 70% of companies are researching and testing new initiatives related to AI-supported technologies. In second place are data modeling tools to support internal AI/ML projects (60%). This shows the direct importance of a solid data infrastructure for effective AI deployment.


Technology investments have clearly shifted towards AI. In terms of the topics in which companies are investing in particular, artificial intelligence has now even displaced cyber security from the top spot (70% vs. 68%). Compared to last year, the value for AI in this question has risen by 35%.


Cyber security remains a major concern for IT decision-makers

Nevertheless, cyber security remains one of the dominant issues that IT decision-makers have to deal with. 64% of respondents agree with the statement that cyber security is the most important area they will have to focus on in the coming twelve months. Addressing cyber security vulnerabilities is the most common reason why CIOs cannot focus exclusively on strategic and innovative activities.


At the top of the list of cyber security topics that are being actively researched and driven forward in companies are tools for behavior monitoring and analysis (35%). This is followed by zero trust (33%), container security (28%), data protection in the cloud (26%) and DevSecOps (25%).


About the survey “CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities”

The annual survey “CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities” examines which topics companies are allocating their IT budgets to and which technologies they are focusing on in their current IT strategy. For this year’s edition, Foundry surveyed 271 IT decision-makers in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.


Measures for higher cyber security: This is the best way to proceed

Download white paper for free (in German)


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