Majority of CIOs say IT and tech are spending priorities

A majority of the UK’s chief information officers (CIOs) believe IT holds the key to improved customer experience, according to a new study which found that 45 per cent of purchasing managers plan to invest more in artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies in the coming year.

A survey of 1,200 CIOs from the UK conducted by KPMG and management consultancy Harvey Nash found that 60 per cent said of those asked said that management in their firm was looking to IT to boost customer experience and engagement, which was the priority for 62 per cent of those asked.

Attracting new customers and growing revenue from existing customers came in joint second place on the CIOs’ wishlist on 57 per cent respectively, suggesting the ongoing importance of a customer-focussed approach from all areas of a business.

Lisa Heneghan, head of digital transformation at KPMG UK, said “Customer centricity is becoming understood to be at the core of driving greater value for organisations.”

She added: “This is requiring CIO’s to think in a different way and understand how the IT function can also pivot to enable a more integrated customer experience.”

When it comes to investment in technology and IT infrastructure, 45 per cent of CIOs said they expected to increase their spending over the next 12 months, with AI ranked as their number one investment prospect.

However, despite the hype surrounding virtual reality (VR) and blockchain technology, these were the lowest ranked as potential investments for the coming year, behind on-demand marketplace platforms, internet of things (IoT) devices and robotic process automation.

The study also asked CIOs which areas within their businesses had seen jobs automated.

Roles in IT (24 percent), customer support (19 percent) and finance (14 percent) were cited as the main three sections to have been automated.

Heneghan added: “The Government’s desire for the UK to be world leaders in AI seems to be developing as we see it being the number one technology spend for UK IT leaders.”

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