The technology needs, priorities and challenges of government agencies are not that different from enterprises. Generally speaking, government agencies are under pressure to do more with less while maximizing productivity and operational efficiency. They struggle to meet ever-increasing expectations from employees and constituents and adapt to new service delivery models. They’re constantly under attack from cybercriminals. Many government agencies are struggling to meet the requirements of modern applications because of antiquated legacy infrastructure.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers, in collaboration with Grant Thornton and CompTIA, recently released its annual State CIO Survey, titled “The Adaptable State CIO.” This survey of state government IT leaders focuses on how government agencies plan to adapt their strategies and prioritize initiatives in an increasingly complex IT and business environment. Following is a summary of the survey’s findings in a number of key areas.
Long a top priority for state CIOs, the wave of consolidation has increased recently, especially in data centers, servers, security, telecommunications, state portals and project management. Email and telecommunications are the only areas in which the majority of respondents report that consolidation efforts are complete. Consolidation is ongoing or planned in data analytics (70 percent), identity and access management (65 percent), storage (65 percent), and backup and disaster recovery (65 percent).
Legacy Systems Modernization
Almost all (90 percent) of respondents said at least one-fifth of their systems need to be modernized or replaced. Six in 10 said at least 40 percent of their systems need to be updated. When asked how much of their IT budget would go toward modernization of legacy systems, 39 percent of respondents said more than 10 percent would go to these initiatives. States tend to target areas in which matching funds are available.
When state CIOs were asked if they had a strategy for moving applications to the cloud, 40 percent said they have a strategy in place while 36 percent said a strategy is currently being developed. About half (51 percent) are pursuing a private cloud model, while 25 percent prefer public cloud. Only 16 percent are pursuing a hybrid cloud, down from 28 percent in 2016.
Email, collaboration and office productivity software are most commonly moved to the cloud. The number of states moving their digital archives to the cloud increased significantly (76 percent compared to 54 percent in 2015), while about half are planning to implement cloud-based solutions for storage and disaster recovery.
Mobility has been a priority since the topic was first introduced in the 2013 survey. Of the state CIOS surveyed, 53 percent said initiatives related to mobile devices and applications were either essential or a high priority.
However, just 10 percent of respondents indicate that more than 40 percent of their current applications are mobile-ready, while 65 percent say less than one-fifth of applications are mobile-ready. Mobile application usage is also surprisingly low, with just 10 percent of respondents saying that mobile applications are being used by at least 60 percent of employees and external users.
In the next post, we’ll discuss how state government IT leaders are approaching cybersecurity, privacy and data protection, and the Internet of Things.
by Edna Zielmanski