Top Ten Trends

By Eric Sweden posted Dec 07,2017 04:17 PM

CIOs are continually evaluating how best to apply limited resources in state government. Industry partners are continually evaluating the needs of government in order to deliver capabilities that meet those needs. In the end what we are all after are positive outcomes for the citizens of this great country.

One important metric we have used for many years is the annual State CIO Top Ten Priorities. The Top Ten informs the association, state government and the marketplace regarding the most pressing priorities for state government CIOs.

Over the years we've observed the trends of these shifting priorities presented on the Top Ten Strategies, Management Processes and Solutions. Some move up and down on the lists for strategy and technology in almost a sinusoidal wave pattern.

The most straight-line trend we've seen is Security, which has maintained a relentless #1 position for many years. Clearly, states continue to struggle in a never-ending cyber war that threatens our citizens and the government they put in place.

Cloud Services and Consolidation/Optimization are two priorities that also maintain positions near the top and trade positioning over time between the #2 and the #3 priority. These are strongly related as they co-enable each other and also provide a foundation for the first priority - Security.

Budget, Cost Control, Fiscal Management is also always on the list, typically moving in the middle tier and touching every other priority. States have different approaches for funding using General Fund and/or charge-back models. But keeping costs down while delivering program functionality is a significant challenge for both state CIOs and budget officers.

A couple of priorities arrived for over the last three to four years. "Enterprise" visioning and governance have been sustaining and demonstrate state CIOs role promoting and fostering an enterprise perspective when managing issues and fully leveraging technology to deliver outcomes. Agile arrived on the list and has sustained for the past three years, reflecting state CIOs taking action to reinvent the delivery process that provides frequent stage gate reviews and affords the opportunity to make course corrections early to ensure the right solutions are applied that are current and remain relevant. Testing happens early and frequently, avoiding large investments and long duration projects that bring significant risk.

Finally, a concept that has been in the purview of state CIOs for some years now, but now makes the list with significant energy behind it, is Digital Government. A government that is always connected with its constituency, providing the best technology to assist citizens including artificial intelligence, digital assistants, chatbots and crowd sourcing.

Stay tuned to NASCIO as we pursue these and other priorities for state CIOs. Next time around, we'll look at the important trends reflected in the Top Ten Technologies, Applications and Tools list.