Here’s what to expect in 2018 from IT leaders at the state level of government
At the end of every year, a survey is taken to see what the top priorities will be for technology directors at the state level in the coming year. Not only does an IT Director in one state want to know what his counterparts in other states are planning, but many others want to know as well. Contractors, technology equipment vendors, market analysts and legislative bodies also want to know what to expect.
One of the best surveys comes from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). The organization polls its members each year and because the data that is collected comes from throughout the country, the results provide a very comprehensive overview of what we’ll likely see happening at the state level of government in 2018.
Cybersecurity issues still dominate and take the #1 priority position for most respondents. Following closely behind though are priorities linked to cloud conversions, digital government and the increasing interest in consolidation, modernization and shared services.
Earlier this year, in another NASCIO survey, more than half of the CIOs reported their intent to move to cloud storage within the next few years. Downward spiraling revenues and declining resources have forced government IT officials to migrate to the cloud. They are all seeking significant reductions in IT costs.
Another top priority listed by CIOs was the desire to facilitate more digital government portals. That’s a portal for citizens to use when accessing various types of data or making transactions, such as renewing licenses.
Another interesting piece of data came out of the recent survey. About 55 percent said they plan to downsize state owned and operated data centers and 52 percent said they plan to outsource business applications through Software as a Service (SaaS) models. Forty-five percent of the CIOs said they planned to increase outsourcing. Translated, that means that customized solutions are not as popular as they once were and it indicates that IT directors may cut back on staff augmentation contracts and outsource more entire programs.
Technology directors at the municipal level of government have focused on Internet of Things (IoT) technology for the past several years. In fact, that’s the jurisdictional level where more IoT technology was being used extensively. Now state CIOs report that IoT technology will also be in high demand at the state level of government. That’s likely due to the trend toward big data analysis and reporting.
Another interesting trend to watch involves artificial intelligence (AI). About 29 percent of the respondent said that the machine learning capabilities of AI hold great interest and they will likely incorporate AI in various ways in the near future. Already, AI is being used to provide interactive “virtual assistant” portals for citizens seeking information from state agencies. AI also provides predictive analysis linked to the management of fleets. The technology, once attached to vehicles, alerts directors to maintenance needs as it collects data, factors in past maintenance information and uses benchmarks based on time and usage.
Other concerns shared by respondents to the survey included shared services, a trend that most IT directors are considering, consolidation, technology optimization, cost control and fiscal management, wireless connectivity, data analytics, enterprise IT governance and incremental software delivery.
A new year is approaching all too quickly and government leaders are making plans to ensure that 2018 is a good and productive year.