Despite disruptions, results indicate positive momentum to continue
over next 12 months
New York, November 3, 2022 – While 81% of digital leaders in the U.S. have concerns about the economy, 46% still plan to increase their overall technology budget and 47% expect to grow their headcount over the next 12 months, according to the 2022 Nash Squared Digital Leadership Report. The report also indicates that organizations are keenly aware of the impact of macro issues on their business performance and expect disruptions from four main areas: the economy, their employees, IT hardware supply chains, and new business models in their sector. The Digital Leadership Report is the longest-running and largest technology leadership survey in the world.
“The growth expectations expressed in this year’s report show that companies are strongly committed to continuing their digital transformation, which will be critical for the economy and jobs moving forward given the current global environment,” said Jason Pyle, president of Harvey Nash USA, a Nash Squared company. “One interesting finding is which technologies are being prioritized. Data analytics is found to provide companies with a competitive advantage and U.S. digital leaders expect it to be a top investment priority in the year ahead. This is incredibly good news because clean, actionable data is the foundation for advanced technology solutions and critical to the innovation that comes from artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
The report also reveals that the aforementioned macro issues are playing out across key themes that will continue to impact the success of digital transformation in the coming year. These include:
- The Role of the CIO: 60% of organizations in the U.S. say the role of the CIO is becoming more strategic. As leaders, CIOs should be responsible for helping build a robust business that can deal with change, disruption, and rapid transformation, something especially necessary in the current environment. But CIOs and digital leaders point to two big barriers: lack of focus/too many distractions (21%) and being under-resourced internally (17%). In order to tackle this problem, CIOs need to educate the entire C-suite about the broader digital agenda and why investment is paramount.
- Skills Shortage: When it comes to the skills shortage, the U.S. is still struggling to recruit and retain talent, with 59% of digital leaders saying it’s preventing them from keeping pace with change. However, this is down from 69% in 2021, indicating a positive trend moving forward. Flexible work arrangements are likely fueling the shift as only 5% of companies will require employees to come into the office five days a week.
- Women Tech Leaders: There is still a long way to go in growing female tech leadership, despite an impressive increase in 2021 when it rose to 21% from 13% the year prior. However, in 2022 it has leveled off and remains at 21%. Tackling this challenge requires a wide range of interventions starting with engaging more girls in STEM studies at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Mentorship programs, skills training, and advancement opportunities can also help grow and promote female tech talent into leadership positions. On a positive note, 64% of tech teams are between 20 – 74% female, showing there is a growing representation of women in tech.
- Cybersecurity: 62% of respondents felt like their organization’s most reasonable risks were covered, but 27% have been subjected to major IT security or cyber attacks over the last two years, and cybersecurity remains a critical frontline defense against global threats. As a result, cybersecurity remains a top priority with more resources being funneled to it. Yet, cybersecurity talent remains scarce with 43% of digital leaders reporting a skills gap in this area.
- Sustainability: Technology can play a big role in sustainability, but U.S. companies require a lot of education in this area. 44% are not using technology to measure their carbon footprint and 23% are not attempting to improve the carbon footprint of their technology. Digital leaders don’t believe this responsibility falls on their shoulders and they see it as a single person’s job, versus being a part of everyone’s responsibility. However, of those surveyed, just 26% employed a dedicated head of sustainability. This means others in the organization, including the CEO and COO, have to work it into their already busy schedules.
“Economic headwinds are gathering and indicators are turning negative – but despite or even because of this, businesses know that investment in technology remains crucial. Both to maximize the efficiency of what they already have and to become more agile and responsive in highly unpredictable conditions, technology is the key enabler. While technology investment intentions stand at their third highest level in over 15 years, there are signs some businesses are re-prioritizing where to spend their money,” said Bev White, CEO, Nash Squared. “The reasons for this are understandable, but organizations should be careful not to cut back too deeply – they run the risk of falling too far off the pace to catch up again, leaving a long-lasting dent to their competitive positioning. Meanwhile, another area that truly demands ongoing investment is cybersecurity. The threat environment is highly charged, and the rise in concerns about foreign power activity is striking. The world has become a more dangerous place in 2022. Businesses must take robust defensive steps accordingly.”
About the Report
The 2022 Nash Squared Digital Leadership Report is the world’s largest and longest running survey of senior technology decision makers. Launched in 1998 and previously called the CIO Survey, it has been an influential and respected indicator of major trends in technology and digital for over two decades. This year a survey of 1,785 digital leaders across 82 countries took place between July 20, 2022 and October 10, 2022.
About Harvey Nash USA
Harvey Nash USA is a part of Nash Squared, the leading global provider of talent and technology solutions. Our network spans 2,800 colleagues across 16 countries and provides a uniquely broad range of service capabilities, from recruitment and workforce management to software development and technology solutions. We bring these together to address the unique challenges of our clients both now and in the future. Harvey Nash works with clients, both big and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: IT recruitment, IT outsourcing/offshoring and executive search. To learn more, please visit www.harveynashusa.com and LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
About Nash Squared
Nash Squared are the leading global provider of talent and technology solutions. We’re equipped with a unique network that realizes the potential where people and technology meet. For over three decades we’ve been helping clients solve broad and complex problems, building and transforming their technology and digital capability.