About our Survey

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on companies and their IT departments. But the 2020 CIO Innovation Index shows that despite uncertain times, innovation is a top priority for enterprise IT teams.

The CIO Innovation Index: Startup Engagement Trends for the Crisis CIO finds that while startups account for 10% of the IT budget today, that number is expected to grow by 50% in the next 12 months, proving that CIOs are increasingly interested in adopting emerging technologies to help run their businesses during the current environment.

We surveyed more than 100 CIOs, including IT leaders at AEG Worldwide, Avnet, Blue Diamond, Flex, Kao, and Kraft Heinz to better understand what emerging technologies enterprise CIOs are prioritizing right now, how they’re working with startups, and what CIOs themselves are doing to drive innovation within their companies.

Key findings include:
  • CIOs are adopting emerging technologies across all categories. Top 3 areas IT leaders are investing in include AI and machine learning (83%), next-gen data management (78%), and cybersecurity (75%). 
  • CIOs say that the VC community is the top channel for discovering innovative startups, followed by industry analyst reports, conferences, and professional networks.
  • The POC process, which allows enterprises to evaluate startup technologies, is critical for driving innovation within large organizations. Nearly 60% of CIOs report POCs as part of their startup evaluation process, 40% of which are paid. 
  • CIOs are much more individually involved with startups in 2020 with 58% serving as advisors, 46% as mentors, and 42% as investors. Of those CIOs uninvolved with startups, 78% say they’d like to advise a startup.

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