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87% increase in cybersecurity investment by ANZ CIOs says Gartner
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

A new survey by Gartner reveals that 87% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and technology executives in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) anticipate an increase in technology investment towards cybersecurity in 2024, a substantial rise from 62% in 2023. This is largely attributed to the broadening scope of threats and the implementation of stricter regulations. The survey highlights the priorities of executives in a technologically evolving landscape, affected by concerns of data security.

Furthermore, the Gartner survey unveils that, after cybersecurity, 79% of CIOs are prepared to channel the most significant portion of new or additional funding in 2024 towards cloud platforms, followed closely by data analytics at 78%. Notably, despite its current popularity, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning rank sixth (62%) in the list of investment priorities, primarily aimed at improving operational efficiency and addressing IT talent shortages.

Generative AI, recently gaining considerable attention, is recognised by ANZ CIOs as the game-changing technology for the upcoming year. However, at present, only 10% have deployed GenAI technologies, with a promising 58% claiming plans to deploy over the forthcoming 24 months.

Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, Andy Rowsell-Jones shed light on the situation declaring, "Every organisation's risk and audit committee are worrying about a potential cybersecurity fallout, and most industry regulators are actively pushing for improved competence." He further added, "This will change, however, once organisations move past the proof-of-concept stage, particularly for GenAI."

The leading three technologies identified by ANZ CIOs to witness a decrease in investments in the next year are legacy infrastructure and data centre technologies (50%), ERP and next-generation compute technology (both 10%), and application modernisation (9%). Rowsell-Jones suggests that the decrease in investment towards application modernisation is likely to be a temporary deprioritisation amidst other pressing issues faced by ANZ CIOs.

Reaffirming the influence of GenAI, CIOs believe the technology to be pivotal in democratising digital delivery. Concurrently, democratization has also been enabled by low-code platforms - 68% of CIOs have already deployed or intend to deploy these in the next two years. "GenAI platforms are reducing the barriers to adoption for software developers...," observed Rowsell-Jones.

Expected business priorities for the next year are to balance customer and regulatory demands with financial performance. The survey reportedly identified the most crucial outcomes from digital technology investments to be customer or citizen experience (70%), ensuring compliance and minimising risks (57%), and improving operating margins (48%).

Rowsell-Jones remarked on the future direction of digital endeavours, "Rather than trying to become the next digital giant, organisations are investing in digital enablement, either to improve cost and operational efficiencies, or to augment a traditional product set with digital capabilities so they can offer more services."

Lastly, the survey also revealed the top emerging digital technologies that ANZ enterprises have currently deployed or plan to deploy over the next two years to be AI/machine learning (76%), distributed cloud (62%), and 5G (57%).