Results from Red Hat's 10th Global Tech Trends 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 the state of cloud. We surveyed over 700 information technology (IT) leaders worldwide, across various industries and regions, 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.

Security remains a top funding priority

It is no surprise that security remains a top funding priority for IT leaders, but our data shows that security has become even more important than it was in previous years. This year, 50% of survey respondents said it was one of their top three funding priorities, increasing 5 points from last year, which is much larger than most changes we see from one survey to the next.

However, if we dive deeper into the security category, we see some of the same inconsistencies we have seen in the past. With threat intelligence, detection and response being the top IT security funding priority, it’s interesting that security awareness training and hiring security or compliance staff remain among the lowest priorities in most regions. Third-party or supply-chain security also remains near the bottom when it comes to funding, despite the global attention that supply-chain threats have garnered over the last few years.

Overall, a third of respondents prioritize funding for threat intelligence, detection, and response and cloud security. Those in APAC trade network security for data protection, privacy, and sovereignty and disaster recovery. This begs the question, are some aspects of security underfunded?

Q5.6 - Over the next 12 months, what are your company's top funding priorities for security? Please select up to 3 of the top areas your company is investing in.

Application modernization varies across regions

Modernizing existing applications is the top application development funding priority at 45% with improving digital user experience, building cloud-native applications, and accelerating application and service delivery being other top priorities. However, application development funding priorities varied across regions – while the Americas and EMEA have a fairly similar rank ordering of application development funding priorities, the APAC region is both more varied and places application modernization fairly far down its list of application development funding priorities.

Given that APAC is a larger SaaS consumer on a percentage basis than the other regions, it is reasonable to hypothesize that replacing legacy software with a SaaS is a somewhat more common approach in APAC than elsewhere. In contrast, in the Americas and EMEA more than half of respondents said that modernizing existing applications was a top area of application development investment, which is well over twice the response given in APAC. Other top priorities include improving digital user experience, building cloud-native applications, and accelerating application and service delivery, with the Americas placing more emphasis on providing new developer tools and EMEA slightly more focused on building mobile applications.

Q5.2 - Over the next 12 months, what are your company's top funding priorities for developing applications? Please select up to 3 of the top areas your company is investing in.

IT management funding priorities shift

The large bucket of cloud management, which includes various forms of hybrid and multicloud management, remained the highest IT management funding priority by far this year. 59% of respondents identified cloud management as a top 3 priority, increasing 9 points from just 2 years ago. Hybrid cloud environments proved to be the norm, with companies generally being neither private cloud-first (21%) nor standardizing on a single public cloud (9%), and a hybrid approach requires thoughtful, strategic management to be successful.

A big year-over-year drop in funding priority that was interesting was that workload migration management saw a full 9 point drop to near the bottom of the IT management funding priorities list. Perhaps this drop reflects that many organizations have settled on where their applications can most effectively run or, at least, are not prioritizing moving them at this time.

Q5.7 - Over the next 12 months, what are your company's top funding priorities for overall IT management? Please select up to 3 of the top areas your company is investing in.

Manual processes continue to hinder digital transformation efforts

The barriers to digital transformation success have remained relatively consistent over the past couple of years, with manual processes or IT operations, technical debt, and skillset or talent gaps identified as the top areas hindering organizations; however, manual processes was more often cited as a barrier in the Americas and less frequently in EMEA. With automation being such a prominent topic across many areas of IT, it's no shock that companies are beginning to automate in many areas with security automation, cloud services automation, and service delivery automation at the front of line when it comes to funding.

Notably, lack of funding and cost reduction mandates remain near the bottom of the list, economic uncertainties and tighter budgets notwithstanding.

Q2.3 - What do you think are the top barriers preventing your company from being successful in its digital transformation? Please select up to 3 of the top barriers.

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 2024 Global Tech Trends and learn more about how enterprises plan to modernize their IT approach in the coming year.

Survey methodology

From August through September 2023, Red Hat surveyed over 706 information technology leaders that are at least decision influencers for hardware, software, or cloud purchases at companies with more than US$10 million in revenue. The respondents were drawn from a subset of Red Hat customers together with Red Hat panel partners.