Security overtakes innovation as top IT funding priority, survey finds

17 Nov 2022

Image: © zimmytws/

A Red Hat survey of more than 1,700 IT leaders found that security is top of the agenda while finding the right talent is still a challenge.

Security has emerged as the top priority for global IT leaders when it comes to digital transformation.

In a recent survey by software company Red Hat, 44pc of respondents said that security was a top three funding priority for their organisation – eight percentage points ahead of the second highest priority, which was cloud infrastructure.

Red Hat’s ninth Global Tech Outlook 2023 report surveyed more than 1,700 IT leaders in various industries across the world to get a better sense of digital transformation trends today.

While security is a broad term, respondents specified that network security was the leading funding priority (40pc), closely followed by cloud security (38pc).

Meanwhile, third-party or supply chain risk management (12pc) and compliance staffing (13pc) were ranked as lowest in security funding priority.

Security was also top of the list across other categories. Cloud security was most important for respondents in terms of cloud infrastructure, while data security emerged top for analytics funding – edging out artificial intelligence.

Security automation (35pc) was the top automation priority, ahead of cloud services automation (33pc) and network automation (30pc).

In fact, security has played such an important role in digital transformation in recent years that it surged ahead of innovation as the imperative for respondents.

“Given many high-profile security threats and data breaches this year, security is naturally top of mind,” Red Hat said.

“Separately, however, the survey data shows an increase in companies in the accelerating phase of their digital transformation efforts (now 23pc), showing no slowdown in companies’ innovation plans.”

However, one thing that hasn’t changed from last year’s Red Hat survey is that the talent and skills gap is still the number one challenge for companies in their digital transformation journey.

Among funding priorities outside of IT, 37pc of respondents chose digital transformation strategy and technical or technology skills training as the top two priorities. People or process skills training came in third, followed by IT or developer hiring and retention.

Interestingly, all of this year’s non-IT funding priorities involve upskilling and people, reflecting the conditions in the labour market.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic