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9 Out of 10 Indian CIOs to Increase Spending on AI Tools in 2024

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Canva, today released new insights from more than 1,360 CIOs on their priorities, opportunities, and the challenges of managing their IT amid the AI boom. The survey of CIOs across India, USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia sought to understand how CIOs are managing application sprawl and making decisions about workplace tools in the AI era.

The top findings specific to Indian respondents include:

  • More apps are entering the workplace, but consolidation and reducing complexity are top of mind. CIOs report the pace of new apps in the market is rising globally, with 79 percent expecting to adopt between 30-60 new apps in 2024. With the rise in the number of new applications, application sprawl (the growth in individual applications used in a workplace) is a challenge for 88 percent of CIOs, with 47 percent being very concerned with increasing complexity, but they plan to reduce it. 52 percent are planning on some level of consolidation, with 30 percent planning for significant levels.
  • IT teams are overwhelmed, making simplicity and user-friendly tools more important than ever. The need to consolidate is being driven by stretched IT teams who are facing a rapid increase in the number of apps to manage. Over half (55 percent) report that they don’t have enough staff to train employees on new apps, including safe and proper use. While, 52 percent say their teams spend more than half of their time educating employees about new technologies, leaving less time for planning, innovation, and other business-critical work.
  • AI is dominating the mindshare of CIOs but identifying the right tools is a challenge. Despite concerns about application sprawl, nearly all CIOs (93 percent) plan to increase their budget to make investments in AI apps, with over half (51 percent) planning budget rises of more than 50 percent. IT leaders recognise the benefits of adopting AI, such as saving time on creative or strategic tasks (53 percent), helping consolidate apps (53 percent), and offering greater insights to guide business decisions (49 percent). Identifying the right solution is a challenge, with 89 percent saying that there are already too many AI tools available, causing confusion and overlap for employees.
  • Integrating AI is high on the agenda. Nearly all CIOs (92 percent) strongly agree that AI tools can dramatically improve both their role and their employees’ experience, but cite integrating AI (56 percent), access to IT talent (34 percent), and data security (22 percent) as the most common challenges. Most seem ready to leverage the technology, with 79 percent saying they have firm guardrails in place to ensure safe and responsible use.

“Navigating the avalanche of new technologies designed to make business easier is proving to be harder than ever. The balancing act CIOs face is unenviable: innovate with AI but don’t contribute to app sprawl,” said Cameron Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Canva. “Our findings reinforce that CIOs in India want to be agents of change and innovation, by choosing technology that helps their organisations have a greater impact while consolidating cost and reducing complexity,” he added.

Today’s CIOs are constantly on the lookout for productivity tools that fuel greater efficiencies in the workplace. Within the design and creative ecosystem, there’s deep fragmentation of AI-powered tools that aren’t serving the needs of the workforce, potentially slowing down the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. With the goal of empowering individuals, teams, and enterprises to create visual communication at scale, Canva introduced Magic Studio in 2023 to simplify and consolidate the best AI-powered design tools into a secure and easy-to-use platform.

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