State of the CIO: IT Leaders Shift Focus to Efficiency, Revenue

Green arrows of various heights pointing upward on green background

After years of accelerated digital transformation, CIOs and IT leaders are facing a new level of scrutiny as pressure mounts to optimize technology performance and prove ROI on tech investments amid continuing economic uncertainty.

CIOs are challenged to keep their eye on operational efficiency to improve collaboration in lockstep with business strategy. CIOs need to be particularly dedicated to tracking and monitoring performance and progress along their digital transformation maturity curve.

The good news for CIOs and marketing technologists is that, despite challenges, technology budgets will continue to see growth this year. According to Foundry’s State of the CIO 2023 study, 91 percent of CIOs expect their tech budget to either increase or stay the same in 2023. This speaks volumes to how important modern technology and data-driven operations are to an organization’s success. 

Top Business Priorities for CIOs in 2023

According to the report, top priorities for CIOs are clear. In addition to increasing operational efficiency, technology leaders are exploring ways to increase cross-team collaboration, integrate technology into broader business strategy, and improve customer experiences. 

Other priorities for CIOs and technology leaders in 2023 include: 

  1. Increasing operational efficiency
  2. Increasing cybersecurity and data privacy
  3. Optimizing existing business processes
  4.  Improving the customer experience
  5. Improving profitability

Thirty-eight percent of respondents say CIOs should act as a strategic advisor, working to proactively identify business needs and opportunities. In response, CIOs anticipate shifting their focus and time to the following areas:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Data Privacy / Analytics
  3. Software Modernization
  4. AI/ML
  5. Customer Experience

CIOs Take on New Responsibilities in 2023

CIOs are more visible and valued in enterprises than ever before. Ongoing economic and social uncertainty has pushed CIOs into the spotlight, with the hope they can provide more data-driven insights to business strategy. According to the report, 77 percent of CIOs say their role has been elevated due to the current state of the economy, and 71 percent say they expect to be more immersed in business strategy over the next few years. Sixty-eight percent of CIOs say that revenue goals are now a part of their job responsibilities.

In addition, forward-looking companies are beginning to embrace Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards and best practices. Seventy-three percent of IT leaders at enterprise organizations say they are being asked to adhere to ESG standards, and to develop a more sustainable technology stack.

The State of the CIO

CIOs and technology leaders are fortunate that the current economic situation has not impacted their budgets overall. But, they may find spending that money and proving ROI has since become viewed with a more critical eye.

Data-driven solutions like a customer data platform (CDP) can help CIOs connect their technology stack to provide the infrastructure and compliance capabilities needed to expand data-based revenue opportunities and increase operational efficiency across the enterprise. Learn how here.

Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson is the Founder and CEO of RoC Consulting, a digital consultancy that helps brands establish the optimal balance of content, technology and marketing to achieve their goals.