Looking forward, looking back

The Digital Leadership Report 2023

25 years of the Digital Leadership Report

The 2023 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.

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The Digital Leader perspective

Five essential videos deep diving into the report, and presenting perspectives from global digital leaders.

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Over the last 25 years, the research has taken in the views of over 50,000 technology leaders.
Find out what they are saying in 2023.

Making more of the report

Global Infographic

Download the infographic with a view of the Global findings of the Digital Leadership Report.

USA Infographic

Download an infographic with a view of U.S. specific findings within the Digital Leadership Report.

Tech Timeline

Download an infographic showing the incredible effect Tech has had over the last 25 years.

Read the official Press Release

'AI tops concerns of global Tech Leaders; only 15% are prepared for generative AI demands as they call for heavier regulation'.

What you need to know

Our report summarise in eight key points
Budget caution, but investment remains
Budget growth expectations have dropped significantly from last year.

But after the hyper growth that wesaw both during and coming out ofthe pandemic, technology spend andinvestment in people could be seen asreturning to more ‘normal’ levels.

Almost half of digital leaders expect their overall technology budget to increase during the next 12 months – a figure that’s broadly inline with pre-pandemic years.
AI – a new Wild West?
The arrival of large-scale generative AI has led many to believe we are at a tipping point.

But four in ten are unprepared for the implications of generative AI, and there are clear concerns on regulating it, as well as issues with data privacy and data accuracy. Our respondents wholly acknowledge that AI requires heavier regulation.

Nine in ten assert this, but most believe that regulation will not solve the issue
Cyber issues down, but for how long?
Major cyberattacks appear to be declining. This may be surprising news for some, however many digital leaders are beginning to view cybercrime as a ‘cost of doing business’.

Also, the nature of attack is changing, with the biggest jumps in threats coming from well-resourced foreign powers and competitors.

Many digital leaders are concerned that generative AI, with its ability to mimic humans at scale, will open up a whole new line of attack in the future.
Skills shortage less intense
This year sees headcount growth expectations decline, jumping from an all-time peak during the pandemic to something more in line with the decade prior to the pandemic.

The focus for organisations has moved from growing headcount, to retaining, engaging and building the effectiveness of their existing teams.

The most scarce skills are data engineers, enterprise architects, software engineers and technical architects.
Digital leaders (re)gaining influence
In 2017 we began to see a decline in executive committee membership, as technology became increasingly owned and operated from outside the traditional technology team.

More recently, membership has climbed up again – to seven in ten, and close toits highest recorded level.

The influence of the digital leader tends to grow when there are new technology challenges and right now, with the proliferation of new technologies, digital leaders can offer an invaluable perspective.
25 years - what have we learnt?
Back at the start of 1998 we had yet to experience a smartphone, or search Google, or post an update to friends on Facebook.

The only thing you could buy on Amazon were books.Today we have smartphones that back to1988 would be in the world’s top 500 most powerful computers.

The potential for technology is incredible.But also, so is the potential of the digital leader. One thing is for sure: it has never been a more exciting time to be in technology.
Hybrid working improves diversity
Six in ten organisations now have a policy. for employees to be in the office at least one day per week.

Larger organisations are more likely to have such policies.Hybrid working improves diversity.

Digital leaders who mandate one to two days are hiring 27% more women than theirpeers with five-day mandates. Great news for those with caring responsibilities, and one day this might benefit as many men as women
Net zero
If you are looking for good news on sustainability, look away.

Just under half of digital leaders said that their organisation had no plan to reach net zero.

Where plans are in place, almost half set their sights on 2030 and beyond, and here’s some good news: six in ten expect to deliver on their plan, with almost everyone else expecting to get close.

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What technology will have the biggest impact in the next decade?

Our panel of digital leaders give their opinion
"Every major advancement in tech comes from the same cause...where a technology jumps from tech-industry expectation to mass market."
Bryan Glick
Bryan Glick
Editor-in-Chief Computer Weekly
"I think we will see an explosion in biotechnology and genomics, with the explosion of AI supporting this development."
Marcus Hunter
Marcus Hunter
Chief Technology Officer EVRi
"The next fundamental shift is going to be ambient solutions. Building intelligence into connected software and devices all around us."
Claus Jensen
Claus Jensen
CIO , Teladoc Health Inc.
"I’m biased, but I think it’s going to be Quantum Computing."
Chris Ballance
Chris Ballance
CEO & Co-Founder Oxford Ionics
"Companies will need to really identify the problems/desires their customers are trying to solve and then assemble partners to create solutions to address them.."
Stephanie L. Woerner
Stephanie L. Woerner
Director, MIT Center for Information Systems Research
"AI will disrupt businesses in a similar way to the advent of the internet. The level of acceleration and automation will be unprecedented."
Allan Cockriel
Allan Cockriel
"Companies will need to really identify the problems/desires their customers are trying to solve and then assemble partners to create solutions to address them."
Gary Shapiro
Gary Shapiro
President & CEO
Consumer Technology Association
"AI will have the biggest influence on the advancement of technology over the next decade, but we need to ensure it’s a force for good."
Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Member of the UK Govt’s AI Council
The most promising tech advancement in the next decade will likely be the continued evolution of visual and audio Augmented Reality (AR).
Matt Pilcer
Matt Pilcer
EVP, Technology Unified
"AI has already begun transforming industries from healthcare and finance to manufacturing and customer service."
Sadia Hasan
Sadia Hasan
Director of Product Management
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