The tug-of-war between optimization and innovation in the CIO’s office

It’s a budget planning meeting, which always seems to fall on a Monday. This year there is $30 million to spend on IT projects beyond operational costs. In other words, net-new discretionary spending needs to be invested in improving the delivery of IT services.

The list of things that need to be built and deployed or fixed and redeployed is usually well understood. A trade-off is emerging between optimization and innovation in cloud systems.

Defining the question

According to this study, the idea of innovation versus optimization is something that CIOs and IT leaders must deal with in 2023. CIOs are nearly twice as likely to invest in innovation and new technologies in an economic downturn instead of optimizing their current tech stack. They ranked AI enablement as an urgent priority. However, 83% are concerned that they will not have sufficient resources to invest effectively in innovation. This is perhaps because they have no idea of how much this new tech will cost and how many resources will be removed from cloud optimization projects.

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