Published 03. Feb. 2021

CIO Investments: Which Tech Is Your Priority?

Technology is a costly investment, and given the world’s current situation, choosing the right emerging tech is critical to stimulate long-term growth.
Cyber Security
IT Management
Get unlimited access to our articles
Fill in the form to read the full piece.

As the world crosses into 2021, the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has brought surges in global stocks and market optimism.

However, even with great hopes of economic recovery by the end of 2021, organizations still need to ensure that their business growth and plans continue positively. And Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are playing a big part in achieving these goals by maximizing information technology (IT) investments and advancements.


What IT Investments To Focus On?


According to our Executive Trend Survey, 67% of CIOs placed data science as a top priority for 2021 with core focuses on analytics strategy, data management and big data analytics

Meanwhile, cyber security and cloud were named as other top CIO priorities by 59% and 53% surveyed leaders respectively.


But what does this mean for CIOs across the industries?

Based on feedback from CIOs and key IT executives, the majority (47%) of them are facing 2021 with slight changes in their goals and a lower budget in their function.


With limited budgets, CIOs need to pick and choose which goal takes priority over the others, and select a solution that will truly give them the return of investment they seek.

Thus, even if CIO trends point towards analytics, if their current end objectives don’t correspond with the need for data solutions, they should focus on more pressing investments.

Another key factor influencing their investment priorities lie in the current maturity levels of their technology and operations. For instance, some are still new in forming data strategies while others are more advanced in their data-driven processes, thus their focus areas in the use of data science differ greatly.

See it LIVE: Get insights straight from the CIOs themselves at CIO LIVE in The Netherlands, and our other CIO events in Germany and Finland.

Investing In Data Science


Today, it’s uncommon to find any company that is not taking advantage of their data. From enhancing customer experience to improving predictive maintenance, business leaders are aware that data is critical to their organizational growth.

But which area of data analytics should your organization focus on? Between the different analytics applications and components, what should be the foremost priority?

In recent interviews with CIOs and other IT decision makers, over 450 of them named analytics as their core focus. Even so, under the analytics umbrella, their interests ranged from big data analytics and predictive analytics to data warehousing and analytics strategy.


55% of them selected data management as their foremost investment in analytics, naming master data management (MDM) and product information management (PIM) implementation as some of their projects.


The MDM solution is largely adopted by the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector to manage massive amounts of transactional data on their customers. PIM, on the other hand, is seeing higher demand by the e-commerce industry and an anticipated fast growth in the media and entertainment sector.

In regards to data analytics strategy, some of the CIOs are investigating how they can make the business work more efficiently through analytics strategy while others are taking the next steps to improve data quality.

On the other hand, a number of the interviewed decision makers are still setting up and realizing their data strategy, indicating that they’re still in the planning stages and concentrating on becoming a data-driven organization.


Investing in Cyber Security


Meanwhile, our most recent interviews with CIOs on cyber security investments discovered that cloud security is foremost on their priority list followed closely by cyber security strategy.


From our findings, a number of the interviewed decision makers expressed interest in implementing security information and event management (SIEM) solutions.


Another hot spot in 2021 cyber security spending, according to Forbes, is identity and access management (IAM), which is a prime focus for 30% of business leaders investing in cyber security. Some of their projects regarding access and identity management include:


With uncertainties still forthcoming, some CIOs are worried about guaranteeing a high level of cyber security with a limited budget while facing challenges in approaching the topic of online security to a diversified and remote workforce.

Discover more: Get the latest updates on IT trends at our popular 600Minutes Executive IT events in Sweden, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Norway.

Investing in Cloud


Based on CIO investment feedback from the interviews, most of them are still in the planning stage of their cloud strategy with cloud integration and migration as their core priorities.


Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud are three of the most popular cloud platforms in the market, and interviewed decision makers are contemplating between the cloud computing services while some are even working with all three of the platforms.

Alternatively, a group of IT leaders and other key C-suites are working towards a hybrid cloud environment, which are commonly used in industries such as:

What is Your Focus Area?


As seen in our survey findings and interviews, each of the IT leaders are prioritizing on a specific solution that best serves their target goals with consideration to their budget, their available expertise and IT talents, and current processes.

For some, the immediate focus is on surviving the consequences of the pandemic, “which has become the number one objective for most emerging technology investments”, according to KPMG’s research. For others, it’s an opportune time to shift to a more digital business model and accelerate their digital transformation.

Nevertheless, while benchmarking and taking note of emerging IT trends help your organization to measure business performance against other companies, the global situation and market uncertainty are still expected to significantly affect information technology investments.

The important thing is to have a solid focus on your strategic IT priorities, adopting agility and adaptability for business continuity, and making smart investments to prevail in the long term.

Management Events emphasizes the importance of innovative technology with our array of IT events. Network with CIOs at our upcoming CIO LIVE in The Netherlands, or connect with decision makers in 1-to-1 matched meetings at our ever-popular 600Minutes Executive IT in Sweden, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Norway.