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CIO Insight: Q3 Economic Outlook – Revenue and Hiring

One of the unique benefits of managing a private network of technology executives and thought leaders in the CIO Professional Network is our ability to gauge perspective on current and future business trends and economic indicators.

CIOs, CTOs, and the like have no doubt in recent history continued to transition into greater spheres of influence within their respective organizations. Technology executives are making an impact beyond their traditional technology silos and are, in fact, intertwined with and leading the business alongside their c-suite counterparts.

With the first half of 2021 behind us, our hope for a return to business prosperity continues. In July 2021, The National CIO Review polled the members of the CIO Professional Network on their expectations for revenue growth and associated hiring plans for the remainder of 2021.

With over 86% of technology leaders reporting an expectation for revenue growth in the second half of 2021, optimism is at an all-time high. Consider that in a similar poll at the start of the year, 70% were projecting growth, and in mid-2020 less than 48% were holding high expectations. This momentum is pointing in the right direction as reported by these industry-leading CIOs and CTOs.

In a similar trajectory, less than 14% of organizations are reporting flat or negative growth expectations compared to over 30% at the start of the year. As a whole, this outlook is quite positive, and arguably we sit at one of the best points since the start of the pandemic.

With expectations aligned for strong financial performance and growth for the second half of 2021, technology leaders and their teams do not report as high as a projection for increased hiring within their technology organization. Some growth is expected for sure, with over 57% of leaders expecting incremental additions to their IT staff as compared to 42% at the start of the year and 47% at the midpoint in 2020. With continued increased expectations and requirements, technology leaders no doubt will need to stay strategic in their acquisition of new talent.

Clearly, this is positive news with high expectations for revenue growth and increased hiring activity through the remainder of 2021. There is no argument that organizations must continue to invest in their technology teams during periods of retraction and even more so as the economy shifts to one of growth.

H. Michael Burgett, TNCR Contributing Writer
H. Michael Burgett has more than 30 years of experience in the technology sector. He is the founder of CIO Partners, a nationally recognized executive search firm with a niche in the technology sector specializing in top-level leadership engagements.
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