2016 State CIO Top 10 Priorities: What are state IT leaders forecasting?

By Doug Robinson posted Nov 11,2015 03:30 PM


Our 2016 Top 10 priority ranking from state CIOs was released yesterday- November 10th. Even though 19 new state CIOs were voting for the first time, there aren’t any major surprises. There’s been a slight shake up in the list of strategies and a few new comers, however most of the topics are consistent with previous years. What's interesting is the relative consistency in priorities selected despite the constant churn in state CIO positions. 

Security and risk management tops the list in the number one slot. This priority has been perennial “favorite” and on the top 10 list since 2006. This is not a surprise given the significant risks faced by the states and the need for stronger governance, maturity and data protection.

Since first appearing on the list in 2010, cloud services has remained a high priority and it was a close second for the number two ranking. 83% of the states have some services/applications in the cloud and are considering others. Consolidation/Optimization, in the top tier of priorities for several years, drops to number three, but the vote was close. Consolidating the environment, optimizing and standardizing is a key element of the state CIO agenda.

Business intelligence and data analytics show up for first time on strategies in the number four position. These items have been on the technologies list since 2009. Is BI and data analytics finally getting attention as a strategic priority as well as a technology investment? Enterprise Vision and Roadmap for IT and Agile Software Delivery appear for the first time – and in the middle of priorities with the four and six rankings.   Agile or incremental software development is growing in the states, with 21% of the CIOs reporting widespread use, but with little central guidance.

Human Resources and talent management remain on the list for the second year in a row. Clearly a top priority and pain point for state CIOs across the board.  Legacy modernization has been fluid – on and off the strategy list for years. For 2016, it’s back in the rankings and a solid number five.

Broadband and mobility dropped off the list for 2016. Mobility is surprising given the attention from state IT leaders and conversations regarding digital services for citizens. However, mobility just missed the cut and came in at number 11. Based on our 2015 State CIO survey data, half of the CIOs consider mobile devices and apps as an essential or high priority of their strategic agenda.

Let's see how these prognostications hold through 2016!