CIO’s 2020 Tech Spending Plans Outlined in Latest Research

CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2020 study highlights the increasing interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning  

Boston, Mass., Feb. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IDG’s CIO — the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership — releases the CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2020 research which highlights the direction of tech spending for the upcoming year and the key tech areas that are in focus. This year’s results are based on more than 200 heads of IT who continue to report that their technology budgets are increasing, and additional money is being allocated towards emerging vendors. (Click to Tweet)

2020 Tech Spending Trends
The majority, 59%, of heads of IT anticipate their technology budgets will increase in the next 12 months, which is up slightly from 57% in 2019. Only 7% of respondents expect their tech budgets to decrease while 34% are anticipating no change in their budget. The areas where IT leaders expect to see the greatest increase in tech spending compared to last year are cybersecurity (68%), BI/analytics tools (63%), business process management/workflow automation (58%), and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI & ML) (56%). Looking at the technologies that are being actively researched, 5G devices (44%), AI & ML (41%), and Internet of Things (IoT) (41%) are at the top of this list. Additionally, organizations are piloting several technologies, including AI & ML (27%), customer experience technology (23%), employee experience technology (22%), and BI/analytics tools (22%). 

“Established and proven technologies such as cybersecurity, analytics and workflow tools continue to prove their value to organizations,” said Adam Dennison, SVP/general manager, IDG Events, and publisher, CIO. “However, heads of IT are becoming more interested in the innovators and disruptors like AI and IoT. As they explore these emerging technologies, IT executives are more likely to partner with a new vendor if they can learn more through educational resources such as event interactions and reviews.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are surely in the spotlight this year. Not only are these technologies expected to receive spending increases, but 62% of IT leaders consider AI & ML to be a disruptive technology – a technology that has the potential to significantly alter the way businesses or entire industries operate. Close to half (47%) also expect AI & ML to have the most significant impact on their organization over the next three to five years. Additional technologies that heads of IT consider disruptive are big data/analytics, IoT, and blockchain.

Investing in Emerging Technologies
Over the past 12 months, IT leaders shared that 14% of their overall tech budget was spent with new tech companies. As they plan for 2020, 34% expect an increase, 38% say no change, 25% are unsure and only 3% anticipate that they will decrease their spending with new tech companies. There are some slight differences here by company size, as 40% of enterprise organizations (1,000+ employees) are more likely to increase their spending with new technology companies vs. 31% of SMBs (<1,000 employees.) In order to evaluate emerging technology vendors, heads of IT are attending external events and/or conferences (65%), pilot testing and participating in product demonstrations (60%), and reading reviews written by experts (53%).

Continue the Conversation
To dive deeper into how to drive business forward through digital advancements, business and technology leaders are invited to attend the AGENDA20 conference taking place March 23-25, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. To learn about joining Google Chrome Enterprise, Unisys, Omnivex and Numerify as an AGENDA20 partner, contact Adam Dennison at

Want more insight? Sign up to receive the 2020 executive summary once available to learn more about the research. 

About CIO
CIO focuses on attracting the highest concentration of enterprise CIOs and business technology executives with unparalleled peer insight and expertise on business strategy, innovation, and leadership. As organizations grow with digital transformation, CIO provides its readers with key insights on career development, including certifications, hiring practices and skills development. The award-winning CIO portfolio provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. CIO is published by IDG Communications, Inc. Company information is available at

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About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. We are the world’s largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, CSO®, InfoWorld®, Macworld®, Network World®, and PCWorld® engage a quality audience of the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape.

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