CIOs Stress Supply Chains, Efficiency as Recession Risks Rise

Amid threats of recession, chief information officers say they are prioritizing technology that drives efficiency, mitigates ongoing supply-chain struggles and contributes quickly to the bottom line. Tech leaders at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Carhartt Inc. and other companies say they are monitoring a number of factors, including the financial markets, inflation and supply-chain uncertainties as they continue making tech investments. “During times of economic uncertainty, companies look for ways where technology can drive growth and create more economic value faster,” said Juan Perez, chief information officer at Salesforce Inc. “When budgets are under significant scrutiny, companies tend to place more emphasis on shorter-term solutions that can drive efficiency and productivity,” said Mr. Perez, who spent 32 years at United Parcel Service Inc., including six years as CIO. Those solutions can run the gamut from simply planning further ahead to the use of automation and artificial intelligence to minimize supply-chain bottlenecks that drag on profits, CIOs said. Across the tech sector, from startup founders to public- and private-market investors and corporate executives, a new mentality is emerging in which productivity and profitability play a bigger role.

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