Once again this year, we’ve canvassed IT leaders across the UK for our annual CIO Report. The full report will be available to download soon, but in the meantime, here are some of the headlines and insights our 2023 survey has provided.

In compiling our annual CIO Report, we set out to understand the priorities and challenges of CIOs and other IT leaders in UK-based, midmarket organisations. Each year, our survey produces a wealth of data, providing knowledge and insights that can confirm our own observations and intelligence from conversation with customers, and turn up some real surprises.

Familiar themes…

For the 2023 edition, we covered a mix of familiar ground and new territory. Budgets, hybrid working and measuring the user experience all fall into the first category. But this time, we were specifically looking for trends and changes from last year’s survey. Respondents’ priorities seem to be shifting in line with the changing economic backdrop, and hybrid and remote working are now firmly established as permanent features of the IT landscape. And while a majority of organisations say they’re looking to expand their IT activities, far fewer are backing this up with additional resources. So if you’re having to find ways to do the same with less, you’re definitely not alone.

…and emerging issues

But we also wanted to dig into challenges and concerns we’ve seen growing in salience and importance over the past 12 months. Top spot is cyber security, which gets its own dedicated section in the Report for the first time this year. Unsurprisingly, we knew this was a top priority for CIOs: our survey findings confirmed just how big an issue it really is. What’s clear is that the nature, scope and scale of the threats we face is growing rapidly, and that we’re all going to be spending a lot more time and energy – and money – combatting them.

How respondents are going about it varies, with some choosing to set up in-house capabilities, and others going down the outsourcing route. Encouragingly, there appears to be a growing movement towards uniting IT and cyber security operations, which is something we’ve put at the heart of our own service offering.

Rise of the machines

Alongside these immediate and tangible issues, IT leaders are also contemplating a more abstract, but potentially equally significant challenge: AI. What it is, what it can do and whether it’s a force for good are questions preoccupying the mainstream media. For many in the IT industry, the discussions are more around technical deployment and commercial benefits, but to be honest, no one really knows how all this will play out. But for IT leaders, this looks set to be another ‘hybrid working moment’, where we’re forced front-and-centre and expected to come up with answers. With added pressure to digest, process and act fast, this will be key to define in months and years ahead.

Ones to watch

Among the big surprises this year are the rise in user sentiment capture among our respondents, and the proportion who don’t believe their current Managed Services Provider can meet their future growth needs. However, the more anticipated challenge is the continuing frustration around data quality. Last year we highlighted people’s difficulties in obtaining actionable insights. Little seems to have changed in the last 12 months; and while more respondents report using analytics tools, it’s hard not to conclude many are either using the wrong ones, or the right ones in the wrong way.

A changing world

This years’ CIO Report goes wider and deeper than ever before, reflecting the constantly increasing scope and complexity of the IT and cyber security environment, and the CIO role itself. It also reveals the technical, commercial, management and personal challenges IT leadership presents – and makes this the only business to be in.

With this year’s report bigger and better than ever, we will be exploring new and relevant 2023 trends as hinted at within this blog. Going hand in hand with our Innovation in IT and Cyber event X, our annual CIO Report will be put in the spotlight and exclusively premiered for all attendees.

Keep an eye on our social channels for updates and sneak peeks ahead of the launch.




Don’t have time to call? Send your enquiry to the Acora team and we’ll get back to you quickly.