Report: IT leaders tackle new challenges with security, AI, and CX

Discover new insights and data from 1,200 IT leaders about AI, data privacy, and CX strategies.

By Gary Aliff, Acting CIO & VP Employee Experience Systems

Last updated November 20, 2023

IT leaders are responsible for keeping systems up to date and managing security issues. With the last few years framed by both economic volatility and rapid changes in technology—namely in advancements in AI—priorities are shifting. Half of the IT leaders we surveyed say that they’re being asked to do more with fewer resources. While digital transformation and systems integration are a constant, customer and employee experience, AI, and data security are top of mind for IT leaders.

In this report

According to a global survey of 1,200 IT leaders, high competition, mounting customer expectations, and new AI tools are all contributing to changing priorities. We published our research in a report detailing the three top areas IT leaders are prioritizing along with strategic recommendations on how to realize these changes in order to stay ahead.

1. Invest in CX and EX for better business outcomes

IT leaders have long noted the correlation between good employee experience (EX) resulting in good customer experience (CX), and vice versa. High employee satisfaction and retention leads to more positive, consistent experiences for customers. Our research shows that the vast majority of IT leaders think that both CX and EX are a top priority, with 70 percent reporting a high level of pressure across the organization to make IT decisions that enhance the customer experience.

To foster a better customer experience, businesses need to invest in tools that are secure, up to date, and allow for personalization while ensuring cohesion across their organization. As detailed in the report, many IT leaders feel that their current CX vendors could be doing more to address concerns like data security and privacy, so it is crucial to invest in tools that work to achieve compliance across different privacy frameworks.

2. Constantly evaluate your data privacy and security strategy

Data privacy and security are top of mind for IT leaders, with 87 percent of those we surveyed saying these have become a high priority over the last three years. There are several reasons why businesses are reevaluating their data privacy and security strategies, including increased risks of cybersecurity attacks, rising consumer expectations, and more data privacy rules and regulations.

Businesses should increase their investment in data privacy and security over the long term to build trust between their employees, customers, and tools. Updating data privacy and security measures gives businesses a strategic edge over those that fail to do so by enabling those businesses to earn the highest level of trust from customers.

3. Take a discerning approach to AI investments

While AI is now an industry mainstay, one surprising finding in our report is that many IT leaders suggest they’re overwhelmed by the speed of change and how and where to prioritize the application of AI. Despite pressure from investors and customers to leverage AI for cost savings, 57 percent of IT leaders report skill gaps in their organizations around emerging IT technologies.

Despite the uncertainty, AI cannot be ignored. Businesses should seek out expert opinions from their partners and vendors to fill skill gaps. With many third-party AI tools available, we suggest a discerning approach to investing in AI. AI built for customer service should leverage customer data in a secure, compliant way to help customers achieve resolution while increasing efficiency for agents.

Get the full report

The importance of CX, EX, data security, and AI to IT leaders must not be overlooked. To stay ahead in a competitive, rapidly changing digital landscape, businesses are being forced to reassess their tech stack and priorities. Ensuring compliance, filling in knowledge gaps with AI, and working to provide both a better customer and employee experience is a tall order, but all extremely important to IT leaders.

It pays to be strategic—good CX and EX correlate to better business outcomes, protecting sensitive data with advanced privacy and security builds trust, and addressing skill gaps in new AI technology can help businesses save money and increase efficiency in the long run.

For a more comprehensive understanding of how IT leaders are navigating these new challenges with security, AI, CX, and EX, we invite you to view our full report.