Results from Red Hat's ninth Global Tech Outlook survey are in, and, as in years past, we explore what the data reveals about where organizations are in their digital transformation initiatives, IT and non-IT funding priorities, and challenges they are facing. We surveyed 1,700+ information technology (IT) leaders worldwide, across various industries to help us better understand new aspects of technology use and track trends. Here, we highlight key findings and trends from the report and how these results have changed over time.

No surprise: Security remains priority #1

Security remains the top IT funding priority across all regions and almost all industries, with 44% of respondents calling it a top 3 funding priority— 8 points higher than the second highest priority, cloud infrastructure. Specifically, network security (40%) and cloud security (38%) were the top priorities, while third-party or supply chain risk management (12%) and security or compliance staffing (13%) ranked as the lowest security funding priorities.

Security was also at the top of the list across many other categories. Cloud security was the top cloud infrastructure priority (42%). Data security and integrity was the top analytics funding priority (45%), edging out artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML). Security automation (35%) beat out cloud services automation (33%) and network automation (30%) as the top automation priority. Lastly, 3 out of 4 respondents “somewhat increased” or “significantly increased” their investments in securing access by applications to other applications, data sources, or both, this year.



Question 5.8: Over the next 12 months, what are your company's top funding priorities for big data and analytics?

Digital transformation priorities shift

While there wasn’t much change in companies’ digital transformation journeys compared to last year, the top two digital transformation priorities shifted significantly. In years past, innovation has been the transformation imperative, and rightly so. This year, however, innovation isn’t the most significant priority for transformation work. Security took the new top position with a 3-point increase from last year to 20%. Innovation dropped 5 points, with 19% now identifying it as their top priority for digital transformation.


Question 2.2: If you were to characterize your absolute top priority for your company's digital transformation in a single term, which of the following would best fit?

We have a few theories about the decrease in prioritization of innovation from year to year. In year’s past, the question allowed for respondents to select multiple priorities. This year, we asked respondents to choose one priority from the list of options to see if honing in on the top priority would yield the same or different rankings. Given many high-profile security threats and data breaches this year, security is naturally top of mind — and again, rightfully so. Separately, however,the survey data shows an increase in companies in the accelerating phase of their digital transformation efforts (now 23%), showing no slowdown in companies’ innovation plans.

Talent gaps remains the top digital transformation barrier

Mirroring last year, the most common digital transformation challenge that companies are grappling with is talent and skill gaps. With an increasing focus on IT automation, security and AI/ML, IT leaders are rightfully concerned that progress in these important initiatives could be stalled without the proper skills and talent. Organizational culture, people and processes are just as essential to digital transformation success as technology.

Among non-IT funding priorities outside of IT, 37% of respondents chose both digital transformation strategy and technical / technology skills training. People / process skills training came in third (30%), with IT or developer hiring and retention just behind (28%). All of this year’s the top non-IT funding priorities involve upskilling and people, perhaps speaking to evolving market conditions and a tight labor market, and pushing companies to get more creative about how they not only define their strategy and priorities, but also how they recruit, retain and reskill. 


Question 6.2: Over the next 12 months, what are your company's top funding priorities outside of IT technology products or solutions?

Find out more in the report

The report has a wealth of additional insights, such as cloud strategies, industry data, automation plans, and more. For a deeper analysis, check out our 2023 Global Tech Outlook and learn more about how enterprises plan to modernize their IT approach in the coming year.

Survey methodology

In May and June 2022, Red Hat surveyed 1,703 information technology leaders, with more than half of the respondents working at companies with more than US$100 million in revenue. The respondents comprised a subset of Red Hat customers together with others drawn from a broad industry panel.

About the author

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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