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IT Burnout, Budget Cuts Concern Tech Leaders Heading into 2023

With nearly half of IT leaders saying their organization is cutting their 2023 budget, there is a fear that their staffs will be overworked and become burned out, a new report finds.

IT burnout concerns are growing as tech professionals confront demands for greater productivity and are faced with budget cuts, all against a backdrop of growing macroeconomic uncertainty.

These were among the results of a JetRockets survey of more than 450 individuals in CIO and CTO roles, which also revealed worries over low-code/no-code development initiatives.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) survey respondents said they are either feeling burnt out (22%) or worried that they don't have the resources and support needed to do their job (17%), even as 45% of tech leaders said their organization is cutting their 2023 budget.

To deal with dwindling resources, nearly two-thirds (63%) of IT leaders are turning to low-code/no-code development solutions, according to the JetRockets survey.

However, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they are worried about employees without coding experience building applications this way.

IT Leaders Focusing on AI, Security

Use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies is also on the rise, with 63% of respondents currently using AI/ML for software testing, and another quarter who said they are considering using it.

Security is also a top concern for IT leaders, the report revealed, with data security worries, the expanded attack surfaces of organizations, and the growing successes of cyber-attackers adding an additional layer of stress.

"As consumers and business customers raise their expectations for privacy, these bad actors know that they can demand much higher ransoms from businesses determined to save their reputations," the report noted.

JetRockets co-founder and CEO Natalie Kaminski said companies are operating against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, as evident in the high percentage of tech leaders who are reporting that their budgets have been slashed.

"Because of this, these leaders who are already stretched thin will be required to do more with less, which is likely to further the burnout issues we are seeing," she said. "There's a good chance budget cuts will exacerbate the issue."

Communication Is Key to Alleviating IT Burnout

However, cuts to spending are happening across the board and at almost every business in some form, Kaminski noted.

"This is why I believe communication and alignment amongst the C-suite is more critical than ever in getting tech leaders the resources and support they need, and thus alleviating some of the burnout and worry that exists," she explained.

To prevent IT burnout, Kaminski said strategy starts with communication amongst the C-suite.

"Leaders across organizations need to take the time to formulate a clear understanding of the situation their CIOs and CTOs are facing and use that to formulate reasonable goals," she said.

As the report found, there is a significant percentage of tech leaders who are worried that they do not have the support and resources needed to do their jobs.

"Transparent communications can go a long way in alleviating those worries and ensuring that leaders across the organization are aligned as they should be," Kaminski noted.

From her perspective, CIOs and CTOs must also ensure that they have the proper processes in place to attract and retain talent.

"The stronger their team is, the easier it will be for them to reach their goals and ensure the overall success of their organization," she said. "Today's CIOs and CTOs are already stretched thin."

Aside from ushering in critical digital transformations that enable their organization to operate more efficiently and effectively, CIOs and CTOs are also being brought into areas that have become increasingly important boardroom discussions, Kaminski said. 

The Fallout From Not Meeting Tech Leaders' Needs

The most concerning finding from the survey, she said, is the high incidence of burnout or worry that tech leaders don't have the support and resources needed to do their jobs.

"These roles are only increasing in importance as digitization continues to transform the business world," she explained. "Failing to meet their needs will almost definitely result in the company being left behind in this increasingly competitive landscape."

A recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study found as organizations race to transform their businesses digitally, IT complexity is increasing dramatically, requiring close alignment between IT investment and operations to ensure everything is protected and secure.

The JetRockets survey also follows an October report indicating technology leaders are increasingly dissatisfied with their role and their organization in the post-pandemic workforce, with around half ready to quit their current job without flexible work options or the ability to advance in their career.

About the author

Nathan Eddy headshotNathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.
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