IT Executives Balance Tech Budget between Agile & Stable Initiatives, while Security Remains an Overall Focus

Boston, Mass. – June 16, 2017 CIO from IDG—the executive-level tech media brand providing insight into business technology leadership—releases the 2017 CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook research highlighting tech spending patterns. As digital transformation continues to fuel tech growth, this study confirms that tech executives are managing multiple modes of IT delivery (66%). By operating in this structure, organizations are able to drive growth through innovative and stable IT projects. The momentum for faster-paced/agile IT continues to be strong, with 74% increasing their agile tech budget this year, compared to 65% in 2016.

This year’s survey of 347 heads of IT reaffirms that organizations are taking tech investments seriously, with 59% anticipating budget increases over the next year. When asked how their tech budget cycle played out within the past 12 months, 51% of IT heads said their technology budget increased, which aligns with the growth IT executives are currently reporting.

As the focus on technology continues to grow, there can be shifts within the budget throughout the year. The majority of respondents said that past budget shifts occurred due to system upgrades/maintenance (44%), IT initiatives/projects starting and stopping (41%), and new mandates from executive management/Board of Directors (36%). This direction of budget distribution continues with only minor adjustments when evaluating future budget growth – for IT leaders who expect an increase in tech budget, they expect IT initiatives, system upgrades and mandates from the executive board to create budget variations. IT executives preparing for their tech budget to decrease report it will be due to pressure from line of business to make changes to IT operations or strategy, new mandates from executive management/Board of Directors, and a change in IT headcount.

“Organizations are not resting on their tech laurels; tech executives are exploring new technologies to help advance their business and meet new demands from senior leadership and the board of directors,” said Adam Dennison, SVP/publisher, CIO. “The prominent growth of IT budgets confirms that organizations are evaluating their past solutions and practices, and are preparing to integrate IT into all aspects of the business.”

Creating an IT-Centric Business
The CIO Tech Poll also explores new and emerging technologies, particularly who holds primary responsibility in six specific technologies – artificial intelligence, cloud, data & analytics, Internet of Things, machine learning and mobile. Within all of these areas, IT holds primary responsibility; however, an average of two departments are involved in each category. Due to its emergence in multiple aspects of the business, data & analytics proves to be an exception, as three departments on average share responsibility. Despite IT having the majority of responsibility in these nascent technologies, technology is seen as a company-wide investment focus. Business departments, including marketing (52%), operations (51%) and sales (47%), will experience an increase in their budgets dedicated to technology within the next 12 months.

Elements that Influence Budget Growth
Security issues continue to concern IT executives, and therefore create a need for increased security solutions. Sixty-eight percent of CIO Tech Poll respondents report that their organization is increasing the percent of IT budget dedicated to security solutions, and nearly half (46%) are increasing the percent of IT budget dedicated to security risk analysis. Only 16% of organizations expect that the threat of information security breaches will have no impact on their technology investment plans over the next 12 months. An additional element that will affect IT budget is skilled employee headcount, and close to one-third (30%) say that they are hiring new employees with security skill sets over the next year.

Although security strategies are solidifying the need for an increased IT budget, some tech areas are providing organizations with long term savings. Fifty percent of organizations currently use open source technology, and 91% of these organizations report that they realize cost savings from the IT and strategy efficiencies that open source creates. Additionally, organizations often have the opportunity to reinvest the cost savings they recognize from innovative and efficient technologies; which ideally will continue the adoption cycle of agile technologies.

To view additional information on the research, please visit:

About CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook Research
The CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook Research is conducted annually, among heads of IT, to gauge how current economic conditions are impacting IT spending. The current CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook was conducted between April 5, 2017 and April 26, 2017 through the CIO Forum on LinkedIn and the CIO customer database. Results are based on 347 respondents who indicated they are the top IT executive at their company or business unit.

About CIO
CIO from IDG focuses on attracting the highest concentration of enterprise CIOs and business technology executives with unparalleled peer insight and expertise on business strategy, innovation, and leadership. As organizations grow with digital transformation, CIO provides its readers with key insights on career development, including certifications, hiring practices and skills development. The award-winning CIO portfolio—, CIO executive programs, CIO Strategic Marketing Services, CIO Forum on LinkedIn, CIO Executive Council and CIO primary research—provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. The CIO Executive Council is a professional organization of CIOs created to serve as an unbiased and trusted peer advisory group. Company information is available at

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About IDG
IDG connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. IDG is the world’s largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape. Our global data intelligence platform activates purchasing intent, powering our clients’ success. IDG Marketing Services creates custom content with marketing impact across video, mobile, social and digital. We execute complex campaigns that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. IDG is the #1 tech media company in the world, per comScore.*

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Desktop Unique Visitors, Worldwide, January 2017


Stacey Raap
Marketing and Research Specialist
Office: 508.935.4008


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