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Cloud, data analytics and security will dominate CIO spending in 2018 and 2019, although an increasing number of CIOs compared to 2017 will be investing in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, wearables, and augmented reality and virtual reality technologies.

Similarly, data centre and server infrastructure are expected to see the biggest decrease, along with CRM and non-mobile devices. While cloud, security and data analytics are set to see significant investment from CIOs, fewer technology leaders expect to be dedicating budget towards these services as in 2017.

Some 84% of CIOs expect to be investing in cloud capabilities in the next two years, down five percentage points compared to 2017. Data analytics (79% of CIOs) and security (73%) were also cited by the most number of UK CIOs as areas of investment in 2018 and 2019, although each was down five and nine percentage points respectively compared to 2017 investment.

It was in emerging machine learning and AI technologies where CIOs are seemingly turning their attentions - 71% of CIOs expected to be investing in this area over the next two years compared to just 53% who said the same for 2017. While just 30% of CIOs said they would be spending on AR and VR in 2017, the figure rises to 46% for the next two years suggesting CIOs believe they can reap the benefits of making investments in cloud, security and data to investigate maturing technologies to drive business value.

Spending on the Internet of Things is expected by 64% of CIOs over the next two years, compared to 53% in 2017. Wearables also sees a healthy increase from 23% to 34%, and 3D-printing is up eight percentage points to 15% of CIOs. CIOs also responded they would increase their spending on enterprise applications, up from 53% of CIOs in 2017 to 62% for the next two years, while allocating budgets to mobile devices is expected by 66% of CIOs in 2018 and 2019, up three percentage points compared to last year.

CIOs responded they would be spending less on CRM (54%), data centre (37%), social (46%), hardware devices (43%) and networking (53%) - although these areas will still see significant IT investment. ERP spending however could see an increase, up one percentage point to 48% of CIOs despite the 2016 Gartner survey suggesting leading IT executives were finding a way of sunsetting their ERP investments.

Other technologies CIOs cited as areas of investment were blockchain, high-performance computing and mass storage, and robotics.

Indeed, a number of CIOs including Karl Hoods at Save the Children, Lloyd's of London CIO Jennifer Rigby and COO Shirine Khoury-Haq, Department for Work and Pensions Chief Digital and Information Officer Mayank Prakash, and London City Airport COO Alison FitzGerald have either established blockchain trials, proofs of concept or have been conducting advanced explorations - as revealed by the 2017 CIO 100.

The statistics are taken from the 2017 CIO 100 research, where we asked what areas CIOs expected to be investing in the next year, and subsequently in the next one to three years.