Tech budgets continue to rise: Digital Leadership survey

Harvey Nash's annual survey goes digital, finds budgets and demand are on the increase as CIOs and CTOs worry about access to skills, mental health, but diversity remains poor.

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The budget boost for CIOs and IT in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is not as short-lived as first thought. The annual survey of business technology leaders by search and recruitment firm Harvey Nash reveals that technology budgets are set to grow by 5% per annum for the foreseeable future. The reason, digital transformation of business.

As one of the most useful surveys of senior technology leaders each year, the Harvey Nash survey, dubbed the Digital Leadership Report for the first time in 2021, clearly demonstrates that the digitisation of working methods and services by organisations as a result of the pandemic will drive yet further digitisation.

Global CIOs reported a year ago a year ago additional spend of 5% to their IT budgets. The majority of respondents to the Harvey Nash CIO survey believed a period of cost-cutting was just around the corner. However, one year on, Covid-19 is still causing personal and economic disruption, leading to increases in IT budgets. Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group, says this year's survey reflects that the pandemic made many organisations realise what they could achieve at pace with technology, which has led them to think about how much more they could do.

"Much of the planned future spend is focused on getting closer to the customer and transformation," the Digital Leadership Report says. CEO White adds that digital has become the primary channel of communications today, having been the only method at the height of the pandemic.

It is possible that the pandemic has, to a degree, levelled the digital playing field. Success rates of digital programmes are high, and the respondents say they are closer to their customers and using data to drive decision making. As the report states, the survey is digital leaders marketing their own homework.

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