81 percent of large enterprise (LE) CIOs are planning to increase their IT headcount in 2023, a survey conducted by Gartner shows.
In contrast, only 14 percent anticipate a decrease in their IT staff, and 5 percent expect their headcount to remain unchanged.
The survey findings indicated that only 4 percent of the surveyed CIOs currently rely on AI-augmented workers for technology-related tasks.
The Gartner survey involved 501 respondents, including 182 LE CIOs from North America, EMEA, and the APAC region. The LE segment comprises enterprises with an annual revenue of $1 billion or more.
Reasons Behind the Planned Increase in IT Headcount
Enterprises have embarked on digital initiatives in recent years, prioritizing operational excellence and enhancing customer or citizen experiences. As a result, 67 percent of CIOs are planning to expand their IT teams by at least 10 percent in 2023 to support these digital initiatives.
However, economic conditions have presented obstacles to hiring for many CIOs. The survey revealed that 41 percent of CIOs have experienced slow hiring for IT roles, 35 percent have witnessed a decrease in overall IT budgets, and 29 percent have encountered an IT hiring freeze.
To address economic volatility, CIOs are adopting proactive measures such as relaxing geographic and role requirements to widen their IT talent pool. Some organizations have achieved success by recruiting early-career technologists and providing upskilling opportunities to fulfill critical technology needs.
The survey also highlighted that the majority of tech work in enterprises is currently performed by full-time equivalents (FTEs). Full-time IT employees are responsible for 56 percent of the workload, while automation and AI-augmented work contribute slightly over 9 percent.
This reliance on FTEs to meet the demands of digital transformation explains the LE CIOs’ plans to increase IT headcount in 2023.
Upskilling Strategies of CIOs
Considering the growing demand for IT talent, LE CIOs prioritize certain qualities during the hiring process. These qualities include the required technical skills, soft skills (such as communication and relationship management), and cultural fit. Cybersecurity, cloud platforms, and customer/user experience are cited as the three most critical technical skills for 2023.
Nearly half of the surveyed CIOs (46 percent) plan to invest in training programs to upskill and reskill their IT staff, ensuring that teams possess the necessary roles, skills, and capacity to achieve enterprise objectives. Additionally, 46 percent of CIOs intend to establish fusion teams, while the same percentage plans to automate workflows to free up IT resources.