Security takes a backseat as CTOs and CIOs lean towards AI in 2024

35% of IT leaders will prioritize reducing time and resources on repetitive tasks in 2024, as 59% claim IT support is where the majority of their time is spent, according to Exclaimer.

IT leaders technology implementation

The survey results show that 2023’s biggest challenges for IT leaders include new technology implementation (33%), hiring and retaining top talent (33%) and a lack of collaboration across teams (30%).

IT leaders challenged by new technology implementation

New technology implementation appears to have been considered more of an issue for the senior leadership, with 42% of IT directors noting it as their biggest challenge this year, highlighting the crucial need for seamless technology integration between IT leaders and third party partners in future.

Looking ahead to 2024, reducing time and resources to ensure the IT department doesn’t continue the trend of doing repetitive tasks that could likely be automated is certainly front of mind for IT leaders. Indeed over a third (35%) state this to be a key priority in 2024, alongside adopting AI technology (45%) and improving security (44%).

And rightly so with 59% of IT teams spending the majority of their time on IT support, it is quite clear that there is a need for technology or alternative support to be put in place to free up the IT department’s resources for other work.

Indeed, the immense amount of time IT leaders are spending on IT support is even more shocking given that 46% of respondents say that they are already in an advanced state of AI adoption with AI already prevalent throughout their organization. Clearly this isn’t translating into supporting some of the arguably more mundane tasks the IT team has to take on.

On a more promising note, it appears there is progress being made to automate some IT processes, with 49% of those surveyed having done so for over 50% of IT processes, helping to free up more time for IT departments to focus on crucial organization growth opportunities such as implementing new technologies (54%), improving work/life balance (52%), strategic planning (50%) and training and upskilling (49%).

Security importance varies among IT leadership

While security is a priority for IT leaders at large, just how important it is differs significantly across IT leadership. For IT managers, improving security in 2024 is their biggest priority (42%), yet it doesn’t even make the top three priorities amongst CTOs and CIOs, with adopting AI (63%), adopting / enhancing automation tools (45%) and reducing time and resources (42%) all considered more important to the IT C-Suite in 2024.

“Whilst it’s understandable that IT leaders are focusing on AI technology as a potential solution for challenges, it’s important not to overlook the security basics. Given that security is so clearly a priority for IT Managers, who are arguably taking on more execution, it’s imperative that IT leadership at the highest level – the C-Suite – do not overlook its importance in 2024,” said Vicky Wills, CTO, Exclaimer.

This is especially true given 40% of IT leaders admit to their organizations experiencing at least two security breaches in the past year. To avoid the almost inevitable attempted breaches, IT leaders are increasing their budgets to add new security resources (62%), implementing new tools (54%), and updating current platforms and systems (46%). As technology becomes more refined, it’s important more so now than ever for organizations to take a step back and reevaluate their security measures before adverse breaches lead to real consequences.

Wills continues: “Technology will play a huge role in supporting IT leaders’ goals next year and they need to be strategic in how they implement new technology, being more cautious with how they use their time and resources to continuously meet and exceed their goals.”

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