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New data from PwC finds that 70% of business leaders believe COVID-19 will turn from a pandemic to an endemic in 2022. The report unveils how companies are tackling today’s unprecedented environment and offers a glimpse into how CIOs are planning for the long-term. 

Despite the uncertainties ahead, there is one thing technology and business leaders are certain about: digital transformation and its acceleration to support their business strategy. In fact, 60% of executives said digital transformation is their most critical growth driver in 2022. 

CIOs are playing a significant role in guiding leadership teams to make the technology investments that will be essential to long-term strategy, especially cloud-related transformation. This comes at a crucial time when 30% of business leaders plan to make remote work a permanent option. To meet the needs of a remote environment, 43% of CIOs are refining their IT strategy and operating model to be more agile. This requires taking a holistic approach when addressing people, process, automation, and suppliers.

Graphic: CIOs prioritize operating model, cloud and data in 2022. 43% said refining our IT strategy and operating model to be more agile. 35% said leverage infrastructure investments to move from traditional data centers to cloud-based. 34% said leveraging enterprise-wide data and analytics to drive strategic decision-making. 30% said evolving IT beyond an enablement function to be a strategic partner to the business. 28% said resetting enterprise architectures to be cloud-based. 27% said acquiring and developing the right talent with contemporary data, tech and digital skills. 27% said implementing effective governance, cybersecurity compliance and controls. 26% said accelerating growth and innovation to provide better customer experience. 19% said evaluating vendor relationships and ecosystems. 18% said using technology to support ESG strategy.

To deliver on the promises of digital transformation, 35% of CIOs said they will prioritize leveraging infrastructure investments to move from traditional data centers to cloud-based, or leveraging enterprise-wide data and analytics to drive strategic decision-making. When it comes to their transformation strategy, CIOs are betting on trends and technology like AI, digital identity, 5G, and IoT, more than they are on the metaverse or crypto. 

Looking ahead, the report highlights that companies will face evolving global data and privacy regulations. The relatively higher concern about tech and data regulations is likely being driven by ongoing cloud transformations that involve moving data outside an organization’s four walls and relying on third-party service providers. Global data and privacy laws are adding to the complexity and risk.

PwC’s report surveyed more than 650 business executives, including 89 chief information and chief technology officers.

Read the full report by PwC.

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