EY Survey Reveals Innovation Remains a Major Business Priority for Technology Companies, Despite Economic Disruption

Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the release of its new pulse poll examining technology leaders' perspectives on the role of innovation during current economic uncertainty. The poll, which was conducted in late April and surveyed more than 250 leaders in the technology industry, reveals how business leaders are rethinking traditional strategies to adapt to uncertain times – and which technologies are helping them get there. 

On the heels of three major bank failures, ongoing tech layoffs and a growing interest in advanced artificial intelligence (AI), most tech executives surveyed (94%) indicate that company-wide innovation will help them come out of the current economic downturn a stronger company than before. Similarly, 94% of respondents still have plans to increase investment in IT or emerging technologies over the next year, with 52% stating they plan to prioritize metaverse technologies.


"The technology industry manages to remain resilient, despite the headwinds of tech industry layoffs and the ongoing economic downturn," says Ken Englund, EY Americas Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader. "As our most recent technology pulse poll points to, leaders are looking for the right balance between safeguarding their operations and driving ongoing innovation and growth."

The EY survey also found that:

AI is here to stay. More and more technology executives are focused on experimenting with AI-based technologies. In fact, 9 in 10 are focused on platforms like ChatGTP, Bing Chat and OpenAI. Further, 80% of tech executives indicate they will increase investment in AI in the next year. More than half of tech executives whose companies are experimenting with generative AI (56%) are doing so for economic savings.

Innovation isn't taking a back seat. Despite a vast majority of tech executives (73%) thinking recent bank failures will have a trickle-down effect on the industry's investments, 81% of tech executives report their company plans to make an innovation-related acquisition in the next six months.

The spotlight is on emerging cyber threats. Seventy-eight percent of tech executives are more concerned about the cybersecurity threats of today compared to cybersecurity threats of one year ago. Additionally, tech executives at companies with plans to increase investments in IT or emerging technologies most often report having a plan to prioritize cybersecurity (74%), big data or analytics (62%), 5G (62%) and generative AI (58%).

"Our pulse poll reveals a positive outlook – with no signs of a lag in innovation for technology companies. The momentum and excitement around emerging technologies like generative AI marks a tectonic industry shift, one focused on effectiveness and efficiency," says Ken Englund.

Survey methodology
EY US commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 254 executives in the technology industry throughout the United States. The margin of error is +/- six percentage points with a confidence interval of 95%. Fieldwork took place between April 20, 2023 and April 27, 2023.