Hi there, and welcome to the latest edition of the Forbes CIO newsletter.
Last year was a blistering one for tech spending, which grew by almost 10% over 2020. Gartner just released its forecast for 2022 and it sees something of a slowdown ahead, with total spending expected to rise to $4.4 trillion, a year-over-year increase of 4%.
In a post about Gartner's forecast, Forbes CIO Network Contributor Vijay Gurbaxani says the statistics reveal a clear shift in how CIOs are delivering technology services to businesses. Gurbaxani, who is the director of the Center for Digital Transformation at University of California, Irvine (disclosure: I'm an unpaid senior industry fellow at the center, where I occasionally help moderate events), points out that increases in spending on software and IT services outpace those in other categories.
That reflects a greater reliance on third-party suppliers to deliver key tech, especially in the domain of cloud services. Boeing's CIO, Susan Doniz, recently signed a huge, multicloud deal with Amazon, Google and Microsoft, and many other CIOs have launched journeys to the public cloud, or to hybrid ones. (For more news about Boeing, see our careers section later in the newsletter.)
At the same time as tech leaders are heading to the cloud, they're also beefing up their own internal software development teams, which need powerful tools to help their companies stay ahead of the competition. And that, in turn, will keep driving up spending on software. This double-barreled spending machine—cloud services plus software innovation engines—will likely add another trillion or more to those forecasts in the not-too-distant future.
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P.S. A very, very exciting announcement! For the first time in a couple of years, we'll be holding our flagship Forbes CIO Summit in person (yay!). The event at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Half Moon Bay, California on May 23 and 24 is reserved for CIOs and executives with equivalent job titles such as CTO from large and innovative companies. We will also be live-streaming a portion of the summit and will share more details about that soon. You can apply to attend here.
Computer vision tech is widely used in corporate quality-control processes. Now it's going to outer space too. Microsoft is partnering with NASA on an experiment that uses its AI-driven image-processing tech to analyze wear and tear experienced by astronauts' gloves used on the International Space Station.
A very happy World Quantum Day to you!: A group of scientists and technologists from 65-plus countries launched this initiative on April 14 last year in an effort to raise public awareness of what quantum technologies can achieve, There is much to celebrate today in terms of recent milestones, as this roundup of expert opinions shows, but we also need to be aware of the potential threats that the technology poses in areas such as cybersecurity.
Lloyds of London insurance market transitions from mainframes to the cloud: The storied U.K. institution is very proud of its traditions, but finally decided to ditch its existing computing infrastructure in favor of the cloud. Its journey holds lessons for other CIOs embarked on the same course—including one derived from a Monty Python comedy sketch!
As we all head into a new era of work with a much greater remote component, the push to use various technologies to measure knowledge workers' productivity will only increase. But as seven-time CIO and Forbes CIO Network Contributor Mark Settle points out in the post linked to below, there are multiple pitfalls with these tools, including their all-too-frequent assumption of a direct correlation between productivity and time spent on applications such as Zoom and email.
Crisis management lessons from New York City's subway shooting: The horrific attack that took place this week on a subway train in a Brooklyn station follows other recent shooting incidents in the U.S., including one in Sacramento. I sincerely hope you will never have to deal with the repercussions of events like these, but they are a reminder of how important it is for executives to be prepared to deal with sudden crises.
Sustainability alert! A new fund aims to boost carbon removal tech: The investment vehicle, called Frontier, is backed by tech companies including Stripe, Alphabet, Meta and Shopify and aims to invest nearly $1 billion over the coming decade in carbon removal technologies. The aim is to guarantee demand for the tech for long enough to encourage more entrepreneurial activity in the field, which has had a disappointing start.
Worried that your key talent might be about to walk out of the door? That's a concern shared by virtually every tech leader I speak to. Stack Overflow, which has created the world's largest online community of developers and technologists, surveyed its audience to find out what makes them want to stick around at an employer. Have a guess what the top two things that keep tech people loyal are and then check out the post at the link below.
Solving hiring headaches by "fractionalizing" jobs: One way to address the competition for talent in IT is to break down jobs into their various components and then tap the pool of part-time or hourly workers to fulfill their different elements. Here's a helpful guide to some of the advantages of this chop-them-up-and-parcel-them-out thinking.
From CIO to CEO: Earlier this month, Ted Colbert, a former Boeing CIO, took over as CEO of the company's Defense, Space and Security business unit, which is Boeing's biggest division by revenue ($26.5 billion in 2021). Colbert also serves on the board of food-processing giant ADM.
Diane Schwartz, the CIO of Johnson Controls, a $44 billion market cap manufacturer of HVAC systems, building automation and control products and a host of other things, is in the midst of consolidating the company's disparate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Her goal: To create a systematic way to manage the business that avoids any surprises, good or bad.