IT Focus in 2019: What Are the Top Priorities for German and American CIOs?

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IT Focus in 2019: What Are the Top Priorities for German and American CIOs?

The differences between Germany and the USA
are small, and one sector stands out the most.

compass on a wooden table

2019 has only just begun, and nevertheless, it has already been punctuated by trends that will direct the work of IT managers throughout the year. What topics are CIOs most concerned with this year, and on what will they be spending their money? Are there serious cultural differences between German and USA technology teams?

OTRS conducted a survey of more than 230 IT managers in Germany and the United States from December 1-17 and came away with the following conclusions:

German CIOs will spend the largest portion of their budget on artificial intelligence.

According to the survey, almost 30 percent of German IT managers will spend most of this year’s budget on improvements and upgrades in the area of artificial intelligence.

This will be followed by spending on the modernization of obsolete systems (23 percent) and security initiatives (19 percent), with the remainder focused on improving their IT infrastructure (13 percent), hiring (10 percent) and training (7 percent).

German CIOs will devote most of their time and effort this year to digital transformation efforts, according to 20 percent of the German IT managers surveyed.

More than one third (34 percent) of respondents in Germany are concerned with cybercrime, 21 percent are even very concerned. More than half of the CIOs surveyed (51 percent) said they were prepared to deal with security incidents.

Just like their German colleagues, investments will be focused on artificial intelligence.

American CIOs also plan to invest the largest portion of their budget in AI, although security concerns are even greater than in Germany.

The following results were reported in the USA:

Cybercrime is a major problem for over 60 percent of IT professionals surveyed in the US who classified themselves as either concerned or very concerned about cybercrime. In the States, the concern seems to be even greater than in Germany. This is probably due to the fact that there is still no clear federal data protection legislation in the United States as there is in the EU with GDPR.

Interestingly, however, this does not seem to be the main area in which American IT managers will be investing this year. Just like their German colleagues, investments will be focused on artificial intelligence. That’s what 23 percent of respondents said. Planned expenditures will also be on further education, workshops and training for IT employees, with 21 percent reporting as such; 17 percent say they will primarily invest in infrastructure improvements.

The primary time and effort investments will be security adjustments (21 percent) and implementing cloud-based solutions (17 percent).

Conclusion: Needs of German and American CIOs are not so far apart

The results of the survey show that the priorities of German and American CIOs are not far apart. Both nationalities intend to spend the largest portion of their budgets on AI, and both feel great concern about cybercrime. Of course, the latter is expected given recent hacker attacks. Just recently in Germany, hackers published the private data of hundreds of politicians and celebrities on the net; in the United States, one of the largest data breaches of all time occurred when the Starwood hotel chain was hacked, leaking 500 million customer records. These are two among countless examples of ongoing cybercrime.

A clear difference between the two nationalities, however, is the topic of “employees.” Here, US IT managers seem to be planning for far more investment in new hires and training than their German counterparts. In the US, they will be focusing on this topic as a secondary priority, directly after Artificial Intelligence; whereas in Germany, these topics fall to fourth and fifth-level priorities.

2019 is certainly shaping up to be a game-changing year throughout the IT industry.

OTRS supports priorities

Fortunately, a lot of the overhead that comes from addressing these 2019 corporate priorities can be handled via service management software, like OTRS. For instance, as experts in cybersecurity, the OTRS Group offers a product known as STORM that supports companies in setting up and consistently implementing end-to-end processes for handling security-relevant incidents. This makes it faster and easier for security teams to respond to hackers and cybercrime incidents, helping to alleviate some of the stress that CIOs expect to face in the upcoming year.

Similarly, OTRS meets CIO objectives when it comes to implementing AI solutions in 2019. The service management software supports all ITIL requirements and digital transformation processes, but it also uses automation and AI principles to speed up and improve IT workflows. Through AI, any type of process – from hiring efforts to equipment requests – can be defined and automated within OTRS.

2019 is certainly shaping up to be a game-changing year throughout the IT industry. With leadership embracing machine-learning at such a rapid pace and hackers scrambling just as quickly to acquire data, any steps that can be taken to speed up and improve IT solutions will be critical. Do you agree with these priorities? Do they hold true in your part of the world? If not, what’s on your docket for the upcoming year?