Connecting state and local government leaders

State CIOs Need to Fill the Agile Void


Connecting state and local government leaders

That means finding ways to introduce agile skillsets to the government enterprise.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Chief information officers spearhead agile in state government only 11 percent of the time, according to a new report by Accenture and the National Association of State CIOs.

More often, agile is pushed by multiple people, application development leads or others within the agency, per “Unleash the New: State Governments Get Agile,” meaning CIOs have an opportunity to provide greater enterprise leadership.

Part of the reason is undoubtedly that the agile skillset just isn’t all that prevalent yet—less than 20 percent of the state IT workers said they were highly proficient, according to the report:

Agile is not yet consistently used across the enterprise. Application of agile is highly correlated to specific individual experience.

Further, 47 percent of IT functions have trouble hiring agile talent, and less than half of CIOs surveyed said agile is just as easy to implement in government as the private sector.

Legacy systems pose the biggest barrier to agile, followed by knowledge base, procurement setups and integration with other systems. A majority of CIOs also said they didn’t have the DevOps to support agile.

“You want to make sure that security is a key part of each stage of your DevOps,” said Keir Buckhurst, Accenture managing director, presenting the report’s findings at NASCIO’s midyear conference Monday in Arlington, Virginia.

Agile is being used to increase customer engagement and business ownership, improve transparency, save money on unnecessary IT programs, and reduce the risk of project failures and delays. But 57 percent of those surveyed said embracing the culture change is tough.  

Popular agile approaches before project launch include business process mapping, LEAN process and process re-engineering.

Accenture and NASCIO’s more detailed findings can be found here.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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