AI Emergence

How CIOs Are Planning For An AI-First Future

9 out of 10 CIOs will increase AI tool spending in 2024

Canva surveyed more than 1,360 global CIOs to understand their priorities and challenges amid emerging technologies and the new era of AI. View the complete report here.

SYDNEY & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Canva, the world’s only all-in-one visual communication platform, 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 company commissioned Harris Poll to survey CIOs from the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Australia to understand how they’re managing application sprawl and making decisions about workplace tools in the AI era.

The top global findings 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 71% 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 72% of CIOs, with 30% being very concerned with increasing complexity, but they plan to reduce it. 51% are planning on some level of consolidation, with 24% 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. Nearly two-thirds (64%) report that they don’t have enough staff to train employees on new apps, including safe and proper use. Forty-four 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 (94%) plan to increase their budget to make investments in AI apps, with two-fifths planning budget rises of more than 50%. IT leaders recognize the benefits of adopting AI, such as saving time on creative or strategic tasks (52%), helping consolidate apps (50%), and offering greater insights to guide business decisions (50%). Identifying the right solution is a challenge, with 84% 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 (90%) agree that AI tools can dramatically improve both their role and their employees’ experience, but cite integrating AI (37%), access to IT talent (33%), and data security (27%) as the most common challenges. Most seem ready to leverage the technology, with 70% 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...

“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 want to be agents of change and innovation by choosing technology that helps their organizations have a greater impact while consolidating cost and reducing complexity.”

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 which 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.

For a more extensive look at the survey findings, you can read more here.




Canva commissioned Harris Poll to survey 1,369 CIOS. These individuals are decision-makers for purchasing software in their company. Specifically, Canva surveyed 152 CIOs in the United States, 154 in the United Kingdom, 150 in Spain, 150 in Germany, 154 in France, 151 in Brazil, 151 in Mexico, 152 in India, and 155 in Australia.
About Canva
Launched in 2013, Canva is a free online visual communications and collaboration platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop user interface and a vast range of templates ranging from presentations, documents, websites, social media graphics, posters, apparel to videos, plus a huge library of fonts, stock photography, illustrations, video footage, and audio clips, anyone can take an idea and create something beautiful.


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