CIOs in Asia expect budget increase post COVID

Remote working and cyber attacks prompt further technology investments

Entering 2020, investment in technology had remained at an all-time high; 55 per cent of technology leaders had received a budget increase, driven by the need for operational efficiencies, customer engagement and developing new products and services, states the recent 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.

With the advent of the pandemic, the attention rapidly pivoted from these medium/longer-term aims to dealing with the immediate demands of the crisis.

Technology leaders experienced a significant surge in technology investment, and many had an open cheque book for whatever they needed in expenditure, especially with investment in the cloud and workforce enablement.

Our research shows that during this three-month period, technology spend grew at a greater rate than at any point in history.

Technology leaders reported a median additional spend of 5 per cent to deal with the Covid-19

crisis. Data from Forrester shows that global IT spending reached US$3.5trillion in 2019, suggesting this spend uplift amounted to US$15bn spent per week to support the sudden move to remote working.

Given this unexpected surge in near-term investment, it is perhaps then not surprising that budget and headcount growth expectations for the next 12 months have dropped.

Pre-Covid, 51 per cent of global respondents expected budget increases and 55 per cent were planning on growing headcount.  Now, budget increases are expected for 43 per cent and headcount increases for 45 per cent.

The key statistics in Asia were:

  • 55 per cent of respondents said they expect a budget increase in next 12 month
  • 46 per cent Increased investment in business-managed IT as a permanent result of Covid-19
  • 64 per cent believe new roles created will more than compensate for old roles being lost through AI/automation over the next 12-24 months
  • 57 per cent expect an increase in IT/ tech headcount
  • 66 per cent said there will be an increased influence of the technology leader as a permanent result of Covid-19
  • 45 per cent said they saw an increase in cyber-attacks since remote working
  • Only 26 per cent said their organisation will allow over half of their workforce to remain predominantly working from home post Covid-19
  • 76 per cent of IT decision makers were concerned about their team’s mental health well-being, which is lower than the global average of 84 per cent.




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