Some 40% of CIOs are spending more than half of their IT budgets on innovation projects and new developments as technology and business leaders turn their focus away from operational IT spending and "keeping the lights on".
That was one of the findings from the 2016 CIO 100, with a further 32.5% of CIOs spending between 30% and 50% of their IT budgets on development and innovation projects. Some 27.5% allocated up to 30% of technology spend on innovation, with the remainder on operational IT.
The trend in respected surveys of CIOs in recent years has seen responses of those overseeing technology and IT budgets revealing a gradual shift in attentions away from driving cost savings and operational efficiencies, and instead developing their exploratory IT agenda.
Indeed, at the start of the year CIO UK research reported CIOs said that their key focus in 2016 would be driving business innovation and leading change efforts. CIOs largely expected to see increases in budgets and to be able to spend more of this money on supporting revenue growth and business initiatives rather than running the traditional IT function, although there remained a challenge to be seen as the home of innovation by the CEO and their peers.
Likewise, the 2016 Harvey Nash CIO Survey showed a shifting focus from CEOs on IT projects that save money (37%) to IT projects that make money (63%). The trend in the Harvey Nash CIO Survey since 2013 has seen CIO giving less priority to driving efficiencies and improving processes - although these have remained some of the top concerns for IT leaders.
The 2016 CIO Summit will feature an innovation strand for the first time, looking at how CIOs can get involved in innovation labs, developing new business models and harness the value of local startups and digital ecosystems.