Information technology investments in China are set to soar.

Gartner’s annual global surveys of chief information officers revealed that the majority of executives located in China are placing their budgets in digitization. Likely in light of the success of Alibaba and Tencent, chief information officers are catching on to the potential of devising a robust digital ecosystem for sustained success.

Nearly 2,600 chief information executives spanning 93 countries were polled across industry sectors, representing about $9.4 trillion in revenue and public sector budgets and $292 billion in IT spending. Of the executives polled, 75 hailed from China as part of the research.

According to the report, survey respondents expect revenues to increase by almost 11 percent on average in China — compared to 4 percent globally. Accordingly, they expect IT budgets to grow a little over 10 percent — five times the global consensus of 2.2 percent. “With the IT budget increase less than the revenue increase, IT spending as a percentage of revenue at Chinese enterprises will remain low, at less than half of the global average,” said researchers in the report.

Digital security is a sensitive subject — especially within China. The survey found that only 8 percent of Chinese respondents approach security as a priority. “Although security, safety and risk rank among the top 10 business priorities of global enterprises, they do not feature in the top 10 priorities of Chinese enterprises,” said Owen Chen, research director at Gartner. “Chinese cio’s should allocate more spending to security management; otherwise, they risk long-term damage to the enterprise’s reputation and loss of customers.”

A small talent pool means limited access for cio’s of emerging or smaller companies to secure workers with skill sets to execute necessary strategies to rival the Alibabas and Baidus. These Internet powerhouses draw the most promising recruits, experts noted. According to relevant respondents, digital business and marketing, information analytics, data statistics, and innovation or creativity are the most lacking gaps.

And while most of the industry turns its sights to artificial intelligence and personalized experiences for enhanced consumer journeys, Chinese cio’s are looking elsewhere for revenue gains. “While customer focus is among the top 10 business priorities of global enterprises surveyed, Chinese enterprises do not rank it in their top 10. Accordingly, CRM is among the top 10 spending priorities of global cio’s, but not in the top 10 spending priorities of Chinese cio’s,” the report said.

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