Business technology decision makers are optimistic about 2024 and are plotting investments in generative AI, analytics and automation, according to Constellation Research's second half 2023 CxO Business Confidence Survey.

The report, based on 43 C-level executives, found that enterprise decision makers are banking on emerging technologies to bolster revenue, profit and employment. An excerpt from the report:

"Buy-side CxOs are balancing the pressure to invest in the AI space with the need for certainty about the reliability of these new tools. In turn, enterprise tech vendors recognize and predict strong revenue potential in the generative AI space but currently are in the waiting phase of tangible selling and the client's desire to see tangible return on investment (ROI)."

Also see: Enterprise technology customer stories 2023: Everything we learned from CXOs about AI, data, CX, transformation

How that waiting game between vendors and technology buyers remains to be seen, but there is CxO optimism headed into 2024. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they experienced a better business climate in 2023 relative to 2022. In the first half, only 33% of CxOs said the business climate was better.

Other key items to note:

  • 44% of respondents said innovation was their organization's most important business issue, followed by labor availability and quality at 42% and consumer demand at 28%.

  • 33% of technology budgets are going to revenue and growth investments with 26% going to efficiency efforts. Strategic differentiation received 20% of budgets.
  • 40% said IT budgets will be flat with 21% seeing increases of 0 to 5%.
  • AI, analytics, ChatGPT, Automation and cloud were cited as priorities among emerging technologies.
  • AWS and Microsoft were the two top of mind software vendors for CxOs followed by Salesforce and Workday.