The Headlines

As a consequence of the current ever-changing technology landscape, CIOs must be more adaptable and agile than ever before. This has only been further exacerbated over the last few years, with COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and macro-economic unrest. This has resulted in many issues such as post-pandemic workforce shifts, the great technology resourcing crisis, and issues with supply chains and technology markets.

Heading into 2023, a year where many fear a recession is looming and geopolitical tensions are at a relative high, organisations must ensure that they use the right strategies and tools to not only navigate these uncertain times, but also to fully mitigate risks and grasp the opportunities which may arise from this changing landscape. Additionally, Cybersecurity, is of course, a key driver for this year, as organisations increasingly invest in their core cyber capabilities and raise awareness to protect their systems, reputation and data from cyber threats.

Many CIOs are focusing on improving customer experience and operational excellence in 2023. This will likely result in increased pressure for efficiencies and optimisation across the organisation, further compounding productivity vs cost challenges. Furthermore, employee turnover for many technology functions is at an all-time high, intensified by a shortage of skills and a war on talent.

This article provides an illustration of the 6 key trends we are seeing in the market as well as concrete examples of how to tackle them and shares expert views on some of these key topics.

TREND 1: In times of economic turbulence, agility is key

There’s no escaping the prediction that a Global recessions looms. The World Bank forecasts global GDP to grow by only 1.7% in 2023, down from their 3% prediction in June 2022, a percentage usually seen in times of recession. This won’t just be felt in any one country, GDP growth expected to slowdown to 0.5% in the United States, and remain flat within the Eurozone. With this decrease in economic growth and, potentially, business profits, IT Leaders should plan to focus on shifting to a more agile, cost sensitive approach in the ever-changing landscape.

Companies should focus on navigating the turbulence faced, and on how to successfully exit this period intact. IT Leaders who invest time and effort into agility and forward planning will be in a strong position to recover at scale and thrive in the market long-term.

TREND 2: Supply chain disruption is set to rise

As we enter 2023, many of the same challenges are continuing to affect companies’ supply chains. In a recent Gartner survey, 76% of supply chain executives indicated they were facing more frequent supply chain disruption compared to three years prior. These range from labour and sustainability issues to disrupted logistics.

The next year will certainly see an increased focus on budgets; however, CIOs should ensure the correct investment is placed into mitigating the effects of supply chain disruption. Data analytics, streamlining of procurement procedures, and detailed planning and ordering cycles should take the limelight to get ahead of the risks involved with low availability of infrastructure assets and any delays in receiving them. Failure to fully invest in these areas leaves companies liable to further disruption of business operations, which will only continue to worsen without proper attention.

Coeus, a Wavestone company, recently conducted a survey on IT Supply Chain Disruption, in which found that 50% of respondents said that the likelihood of IT Supplier Failure is high or very high. Read the full report here.

John Gorrell - Associate Director

John Gorrell - Associate Director

The last couple of years have seen CIOs and other senior IT decision makers confronted with a seemingly endless range of disruptions, from geopolitical and social instability to cost increases, plus a shortfall in available talent and skills. All of these are going to continue to be factors in 2023, and an increasing number of IT leaders are concerned their organisations lack the resilience to withstand further disruption.

TREND 3: The war for talent is not going away

It’s not a surprise that the war for talent is still something at the top of CIO’s minds. It is key for CIO’s to attract and also retain talent to implement the strategy set by the business.

In order to do this, CIO’s must create a team around them with the right attitude, culture, and  resilience that can manage the expected (and the unexpected) things that come with the territory, and of course coach and nurture them to succeed. This is particularly true in turbulent times as technology expertise is in short supply and many companies fighting to attract and retain talent .

CIOs need to develop versatile talent management strategies which focus on employees’ needs and explore new ways of acquiring talent, or ways to offer opportunities to existing employees of re-skilling and training.

TREND 4: Security, Security, Security

Cybersecurity continues to be a high priority as we start the new year. It is also one of key drivers pushing up CIO investment during 2023 as the threat landscape increased and the technology debt grows. According to IDG’s findings, surveyed indicated the need for security improvements as a top reason for increasing tech budget this year, followed by upgrading outdated IT infrastructure (48%) and investing in new skills and talent (48%).

Key reasons Cybersecurity continues to be high priority for CIO’s:

  • The increasing reliance on IT and IoT devices
  • The trend of remote and hybrid work environments, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has further increased the vulnerabilities for organisations. If security is not properly addressed, it can result in significant financial and reputational damage.

Concepts such as Zero-Trust, are gaining momentum among CIOs, as it helps mitigate many security vulnerabilities. One of the common approaches to improve zero-trust adoption is implementing SASEs and Zero-Trust Network Access, an approach which is predicted to increase significantly in the coming year.

You can read our CISO radar to gain more insight into security trends for 2023.

Roxanne Bohin - Manager

Roxanne Bohin - Manager

As we move into 2023, the cyber threat remains a very high risk to organisations’ resilience, in particular ransomware and third-party attacks. CISOs need to work closely with CIOs and business stakeholders to protect key assets and organise fast recovery. This takes the shape of Zero-Trust programmes, creation of DevSecOps engines, new third-party management platforms, deployment of Cyber Recovery solutions for critical assets and data… all topics closely aligned to CIO priorities.

TREND 5: Sustainable IT will be high on CIO’s Agenda

Over the past few years, a greater understanding of climate change, government sustainability strategies, and pressure from societal and political groups have thrown the topic of sustainable IT into the limelight, and into the CIO’s agenda as a high priority item.

As pressure continues to grow and opportunities to achieve a greater level of sustainability present themselves, it should be at the forefront of every CIO’s agenda to take stock of their IT operations and define a long-term sustainable technology plan.

A move to sustainable IT will not only improve the environmental performance of your estate, but it is also likely to contribute to cost-savings and optimisation efforts across the board which will strengthen organisation’s efforts to be more resilient, agile and scalable.

In order to start the journey on digital sustainability, we recommend our clients start with a maturity assessment, to help them understand where they are on their digital sustainability journey, understanding their current position and goals and then determining how to reach them.

To find out more on this topic, read our ‘Thinking Out Loud’ interview on Digital Sustainability.

Marta Koscielak - Senior Consultant

Marta Koscielak - Senior Consultant

Sustainability has become a hot topic over the past couple of years, and many organisations are listing reducing their carbon emissions as part of their strategic objectives. If you haven’t already measured the environmental footprint of your IT estate, I would suggest you do so in 2023 and set up some short-term and long-term targets to match commitments from your partner organisations whilst also becoming an environmentally conscious employer.

TREND 6: Cloud Technology – Time to take ownership

It’s no surprise that cloud technologies will continue their dominance in both the agenda and budget of CIOs in 2023, with Gartner even forecasting cloud spend to increase by 20.7% this year compared to 2022.

Many of our clients have made the move to cloud and are seeking ways to optimise it. Therefore, cloud maturity is a pressing topic for CIOs in 2023.

In a year that will be dominated by cost optimisations across the board, it creates a perfect opportunity to take stock of cloud efforts and ensure that continued maturity and integration is a priority. This will enable you to fully take control of your long-term cloud strategy, whilst also driving short-term cost savings.

We find that by creating a dashboard helps to clearly show where cloud investments have been made can subsequently help to build with a detailed roadmap for future cloud investment. It is then that you can see where cloud efforts can be integrated into the wider company, the specific breakdown of cloud costs, as well as where optimisations can be made.

For the early adopters of cloud, 2023 is a year of FinOps; optimising costs in your expenditure to adapt quickly to the current economic climate whilst getting the most out of your environment. For further insight on this topic, check out our dedicated article on FinOps in the DevOps environment.


In Summary, the critical trends of 2023 are:

  • The triple squeeze of a uncertain economic backdrop, supply chain disruptions, and a war for talent, will hit companies from multiple fronts. Understanding how you will be affected by these issues, and developing a strategic plan to navigate them is a key objective for 2023.
  • Cybersecurity is a top priority for CIOs in 2023, with increased collaboration between CIOs and CISOs driving the adoption of zero-trust solutions like SASEs and Zero-Trust Network Access to address heightened vulnerabilities from third-parties and the move to Cloud.
  • Sustainability is a pressing topic for a many organisations, and companies need to measure the environmental footprint of their IT stack to ensure they comply with strategic objectives and targets.
  • Cloud technologies will continue to be a main agenda topic, and cloud optimisation is the next step required to ensure that a cloud strategy is fully realised and integrated across the company.