The AI frenzy continues in 2024, with both tech budgets and IT leaders鈥 time and attention being claimed by AI-related initiatives. According to CIO鈥檚 2024 , 29% of IT decision-makers (ITDMs) cited AI-enabled tech as their most important technology project this year 鈥 up 23 percentage points from just 6% the year prior. The survey also found that 64% say that AI has the greatest potential to significantly transform the way their business operates and that 70% expect their investment in AI-enabled tech to increase over the next year.听To support this, we see that 54% of ITDMs anticipate their technology budgets will increase over the next 12 months, 32% expect their budgets to remain the same and only 14% expect a decrease.听

The 2024 CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities research is based on 271 IT decision-maker respondents. This research is conducted to gauge which technology areas IT leaders are focused on over the next 12 months and measures the direction of spending within those categories. The study is global with 50% of respondents in North America, 23% in APAC and 22% in EMEA. To learn more about this year’s research, explore key takeaways from the study below:

Key takeaways:

IT decision-makers expect steady technology growth over the next 12 months.听Areas that will see the most increase in spending include AI-enabled technology (70%), cybersecurity (68%), business process management tools (45%), customer experience technology (44%), and data-modeling tools to support in-house AI/ML projects (43%).听Budget growth also aims to support IT organization areas of improvement.听

3 out of 4 ITDMs say they are already using cybersecurity technology, and only 19% are still in the research or piloting stages. Looking into which specific cybersecurity tools ITDMs are actively researching, the top are behavior monitoring and analysis, Zero Trust, Container security, Cloud data protection and DevSecOps tools.听

While still largely in the researching or piloting stages, ITDMs anticipate increasing their spending towards AI-enabled technology (70%) over the next 12 months, as they feel it is the single most important IT project they are currently working on and that it has the most potential to significantly alter the way their business operates over the next three to five years (64%). More specifically, ITDMs anticipate their organization will use AI/ML tools to transform the business in the next three to five years for process automation and efficiency, enhancing the customer experience, Natural Language Processing, and risk management/fraud detection.

When buying and deploying new technologies over the past 12 months, the biggest challenges IT decision-makers encountered were lack of budget, resistance to change within the organization, a shortage of staff, and lack of appropriate skillsets for deployment.

View the sample slides below and download the听听for additional insight.