2023 CXO Survey: IT Leaders Give Mixed Signals on What Lies Ahead for the Enterprise

As we roll into the first quarter of 2023, uncertainty is still weighing heavily on corporate minds, and seeking knowledge and guidance from the C-suite is more critical than ever.

We considered these factors in this year’s CXO Advisory Board survey as we polled our 75 CXOs. 

This annual survey aimed to uncover what’s happening in the enterprise: spending, technology adoption, problems that need solutions, and more for the year ahead. We tackled various topic areas, including forecasted changes in tech budgets and headcount, cloud and data platforms, cybersecurity, low- code/no-code, AI/machine learning, Web3, ARVR, the Metaverse, quantum computing, and automation.

The 2023 survey results showed a few mixed signals and some strong support around investments in rapidly growing sectors of technology. Please take a look at the results and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Surprisingly, the responses for headcount showed that 80% believed that there would be an increase or no change. It’s possible that their 2023 budgets have not been finalized at the time or the mandates from their CFOs have not come down the pipeline just yet, but their answers definitely had a shock value. 

Generative AI, a red-hot emerging tech, appears to be gaining significant momentum with 28% of CXOs already stating they will invest in the tech in the months ahead. According to Gartner, by 2025, generative AI will produce 10% of all data (now less than 1 percent) with 20% of all test data for consumer-facing use cases.

Many organizations continue investing in automation and other technologies such as Web3, quantum computing, and AR/VR to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and innovate faster. 

Web3 and AR/VR and/or the Metaverse have also anticipated spends among nearly half of the respondents. Approximately 438 startups that offer services and technologies associated with Web3 have received a combined total of more than $4.5 billion in investment funding. Many reports reveal that Web3 developers are building faster than ever despite market headwinds. Roughly 5,000 developers push code to Web3 every week.

Virtual worlds are currently dispersed across a disjointed ecosystem. Eventually, it’s predicted that a shared interface will develop to connect virtual spaces with the augmented-reality-enhanced physical world. That collective, persistent layer is known as “the Metaverse.” How that evolution will happen is unclear, but experts agree that virtual and augmented reality, the collective metaverses, are already becoming a ubiquitous part of human existence. 

Quantum computing appears to have some catching up to do with just 8.6% of respondents stating they’d be investing in the tech in 2023. Even so, according to Gartner, 40% of large companies are planning to create initiatives around quantum computing by 2025.

Surprisingly, many CXOs state they are still in the early stages of their cloud (37.1%) journey.  IDC expects spending on compute and storage cloud infrastructure to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% over the 2021-2026 forecast period, reaching $145.2 billion in 2026 and accounting for 69.7% of total compute and storage infrastructure spend. 

CXOs also stated they were early in their data platform (40%) journeys. Data migration is still causing more headaches than most enterprise initiatives because the potential for user error, data loss, and miscommunication is so high.

We’re looking forward to ongoing collaboration with our CXO Advisory Board members to remain current on enterprise trends and share the latest new technologies to help them innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

For any questions about the CXO Survey or the Sierra Ventures Advisory Board please contact Brendon Schmidt brendon@sierraventures.com.

Our Managing Directors and Partners have years of experience growing businesses of all sizes not just as investors, but as entrepreneurs and operational executives in charge of engineering, finance, marketing, and operations. The seasoned leaders on our Operating Team provide high touch support through business development, strategy, and partner relations and are always finding opportunities to help our portfolio companies grow and scale. Additionally, our broader network and members on our CXO Advisory Board act as an extension of our team, providing valuable guidance and insights into the Enterprise.

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