A survey report released today of the CIOs of 48 states, the District of Columbia and two territories shows this to be a year of evolving roles, changing capabilities and trying workloads for IT executives. The result: a new, dynamic environment for CIOs consisting of four Cs – clout, change, collaboration and consolidation.
The report, a New C4 Agenda: Perspectives and Trends from State Government IT Leaders, is sponsored by TechAmerica, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), and Grant Thornton LLP.
CIOs are speeding up consolidation of state IT services, driven by a search for savings and the need for enterprise-wide IT services. They are also playing greater roles in health IT, a major factor in state-funded healthcare delivery systems and services, including Medicaid.
“The survey confirms that state budget situations remain a top challenge for CIOs,” said Dan Varroney, Interim President and CEO of TechAmerica in a statement from the organization. “They are responding to that challenge with a strong focus on IT consolidation and cost controls. But they’re also bringing to bear innovative IT solutions to improve program performance and service delivery, increasing investment in areas such as mobility and cloud computing.”
Survey respondents report increased investments in cloud computing, or the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product. Three-quarters of CIOs say cloud computing alters their roles by creating opportunities for change or by shifting perceptions that they provide mostly support. Security issues surrounding the cloud approach remain a concern.
“Governors want state CIOs to be leaders and experts in IT services and policy issues. They want CIOs’ ideas for better program results and cost savings,” stated NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson. “Elected officials are learning that IT services and budgets need enterprise oversight and governance in order to produce better, more cost-effective services.”
Hank Steininger, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector group, added: “Business intelligence and business analytics (BI/BA) tools offer the best promise for finding and assembling information useful to decision makers and concerned taxpayers.”
Although two-thirds of survey respondents say they are somewhat invested in BI/BA, only 12 percent say they are making substantial use of an intelligence and analytics approach.
“This needs to change if government is going to make use of the data they already collect,” Steininger said in the statement.