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Economic recession heads a list of hurdles enterprises now face, but data management investments do not appear to be slowing down. This is according to a survey from Wakefield Research and data mainstay Informatica that sees data governance as the number one priority among chief data officers (CDOs). In fact, data management investments are on track to increase.

Conducted toward the end of 2022, the survey brings the perspective of 600 corporate data leaders across the U.S., Europe, and the Asia Pacific regions into the light. And, it finds that despite the looming macroeconomic crisis, more than 2 in 3 data leaders (68%) are looking to increase data management investments in 2023. 

Aligning business and data management investments

The move is expected in response to a growing mesh of data sources — 55% of respondents already manage 1,000-plus data sources. The survey further reveals that those set to move are more likely to align business and data interests within their organization.

The survey found that 73% of leaders with strongly aligned business and data strategies predicted increased investment in data management, against 53% who are not aligned or partially aligned. It further notes that the alignment of teams is also very critical to effectively meeting key data strategy goals.

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“By driving organizational alignment and making the appropriate data management investments to support it, they will differentiate their organizations, drive clear business outcomes and enable success in 2023 and beyond,” said Jitesh Ghai, Informatica chief product officer.

According to the research, the most sought-after capability under data management is data quality, with 42% of leaders looking to invest in it. This is followed by data protection (40%), data marketplaces (39%), master data (35%) and data discovery and cataloging (31%).

As for data strategy, 52% of survey respondents cited improving governance over data and processes as their top priority for 2023, ahead of data-driven culture and literacy (46%) and gaining a holistic view of customers (45%). 

Both of these aspects — implementing the right strategies and utilizing the right tools — will be the key to gaining more from investments and setting the company up for success, according to the report.

Broader IT investments also likely to grow

The importance of data in today’s business initiatives may mean a safer harbor for data management investments and some other IT efforts, even as economic headwinds threaten the consumer economy.

According to a separate study from Gartner, global IT spending is expected to grow during the economic downturn by 2.4%, hitting $4.5 trillion in 2023. But, it’s worth noting that this estimate is down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 5.1% growth.

“A turbulent economy has changed the context of business decisions and can cause CIOs to become more hesitant, delay decisions or reorder priorities,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner.

“We’ve seen this in action with the reshuffling taking place among some B2B companies, especially those that overinvested in growth,” he said. “However, IT budgets are not driving these shifts, and IT spending remains recession-proof.”

Major players that grew head counts in recent years are already witnessing the impact of the downturn. Among those that have moved to cut staff are Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Salesforce, IBM, Microsoft and Twitter.

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