Connecting state and local government leaders

What State CIOs Are Prioritizing in 2016

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Looking ahead to 2016, security and risk management once again top the list of priorities for state chief information officers, according to a newly released National Association of State Chief Information Officers survey.

For the third year straight in the ranking’s 10-year history, security beat out nine other policy and technology priorities—in large part due to state CIOs’ continued desire to develop information technology security strategies and tools.

Cloud services traded places with consolidation / optimization, compared to last year, for second- and third-highest priority respectively.

“[A]s we see data analytics and legacy modernization move up the list, you’re seeing a good illustration of how the responsibilities of the state CIO are expanding,” New Mexico CIO Darryl Ackley, who serves as NASCIO president, said in Tuesday’s announcement. “Balancing innovation with legacy investments remains a challenge for our states.”

This year, 19 new CIOs participated in the survey. And with fresh blood in state government IT shops come fresh priorities.

Human resources / talent management and fears of the “silver tsunami” wave of retirements within state government, ranked eighth in the priorities survey, placing behind roadmapping IT.

“We can see they are seeking innovative ways to attract and retain talent with state IT workforce appearing on the list again in 2016,” Doug Robinson, NASCIO executive director, said in the announcement. “However, even more interesting, is the appearance of enterprise vision and roadmap for IT for the first time in our 10 years of tracking these priorities.”

Delving deeper, state CIOs told NASCIO detailed the technologies, applications and tools they’re placing a premium on in 2016. Security enhancement tools like digital forensics are No. 1, followed by cloud solutions—namely software as a service—and then legacy app modernization / renovation.

Data management and business analytics ranked fourth and fifth, the open-data push and the new innovations it breeds not yet outpacing state government’s reliance on legacy systems.

Dave Nyczepir is News Editor for Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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